Oracle revenues rise as cloud services earn keep

While the rise of big data technology companies has seemed to threaten Oracle, its latest results report indicate a better than expected increase in revenue

While the rise of big data technology companies, particularly the NoSQL movement suppliers, has seemed to threaten Oracle, its most recent quarterly results indicate an increase in revenues that exceeds expectations.

The company’s second quarter results, for fiscal year 2013-14, disclosed revenues of $9.3bn, ahead of the $9.2bn expected by US financial analysts, as Richard Walters reported in the Financial Times.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (pictured) hailed the growth in the firm’s cloud services, in a statement accompanying the results announcement: “Our billion dollar SaaS business delivered overall bookings growth of 35% in the quarter,” he said. “Our fastest growing cloud services were Fusion Human Capital Management and Fusion Salesforce Automation, each growing bookings at a triple-digit rate”.

GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] operating income was down 2% to $3.4 billion, and the GAAP operating margin was 37%. On the bottom line, GAAP net income was down 1% to $2.6 billion.

GAAP new software licence and cloud software subscriptions revenues were $2.4 billion. Both GAAP and non-GAAP software licence updates and product support revenues were up 6%, on the same quarter last year, to $4.5 billion.

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Hardware continues to be a relative drag, as it has been since the acquisition of Sun in 2009. Hardware systems revenues, including hardware systems products and hardware systems support, were unchanged at $1.3 billion. Hardware systems products revenues were down 3% to $714 million.

The company’s president, Mark Hurd, however, pointed to a lessening in the drag effect of hardware, as big data and analytics oriented products prove their mettle: “Our hardware business, including support, grew 2% in constant currency this quarter driven by double-digit revenue growth in Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics …. the SPARC SuperCluster and Big Data Appliance were even better, with triple-digit growth and we expect hardware products will show growth next quarter."

Oracle president and CFO, Safra Catz, highlighted the supplier’s cash-rich position. “Software revenue grew 5%, helping drive our tremendous cash flow and for the first time ever, we generated more than $15 billion in operating cash flow over four quarters” she said.

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