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Oracle Q4 earnings boost investor confidence

Oracle has announced that revenues for its fourth quarter, ending 31 May, were up 39% to $9.5bn (£6.4bn) and earnings of 46 cents a share, up 24% compared with the same period a year ago.

New software licence revenues were up 14% to $3.1bn, and licence updates and product support revenues were up 12% to $3.4bn.

Safra Catz said Oracle had succeeded in making the recently-acquired Sun Microsystems profitable.

"We estimate that Sun contributed over $400m to non-GAAP operating income in our Q4," said Catz.

The results added to optimism that Oracle's fortunes are improving rapidly with the economic recovery, contributing to a 4% rise in its shares in after-market trading, analysts said.

For the quarter, operating income was up 14% to $3.3bn, operating margin was 35%, and net income was up 25% to $2.4bn.

"We continue to take large chunks of market share away from SAP," said Oracle president, Charles Phillips.

"Over the past twelve months Oracle's applications business has grown 5% on a constant dollar basis, while SAP's business has declined 24% over their previous four quarters," he said.

Larry Ellison, Oracle chief executive, pointed to gains against IBM. "Version 2 of our Sun Exadata database machine outperforms IBM's fastest computer in both data warehousing and transaction processing," he said.

Ellison claimed that as a result, some of IBM's largest customers began buying Exadata machines rather than big IBM servers in Q4 of Oracle's financial year ending 2010.


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