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Oracle Q3 2018-19 results: profits nudge up, revenue dips

Oracle’s third quarter 2018-19 results show improved profitability on weaker revenue, and cloud-based autonomous database service with 1,000 customers

Oracle announced third-quarter 2018-19 revenues of $9.6bn, down 1% compared with the same quarter last year.

It reported cloud services and licence support revenues of $6.7bn and cloud licence and on-premise licence revenues of $1.3bn.

GAAP operating profit was up 3% to $3.4bn, a margin of 35%. Non-GAAP operating profit was up 2% to $4.3bn and non-GAAP operating margin was 44%.

Safra Catz, Oracle co-CEO, said she was pleased with its third-quarter non-GAAP results as revenues grew by 3%, operating income increased by 5% and earnings per share grew by 12% in constant currency.

“Our overall operating margin improved to 44% as our lower-margin hardware business continued to get smaller while our higher-margin cloud business continued to get bigger,” said Catz.

In a financial analyst call, as transcribed by financial news service SeekingAlpha, Catz added that cloud delivery was growing. “Through adoption of Autonomous Database and OCI [Oracle Cloud Infrastructure], we are now shifting the focus for our infrastructure business to the cloud,” she said. “As a percentage of our total software business, cloud is now more than double what it was just three years ago.”

Fellow co-CEO Mark Hurd, whose domain is primarily Oracle’s applications business, said revenues for its Fusion human capital management (HCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain and manufacturing cloud applications revenue grew by 32% in the quarter, while its NetSuite ERP cloud applications also delivered strong results with 30% revenue growth.

“Our overall operating margin improved to 44% as our lower-margin hardware business continued to get smaller while our higher-margin cloud business continued to get bigger”
Safra Catz, Oracle

On the financial analyst call, Hurd picked out retailer Gap as a trailblazer customer. “We’ve been working with The Gap and their transformation to what’s really a multicloud environment, but using many, many Oracle technologies, and they include really everything we’ve got,” he said.

“SaaS [software as a service], PaaS [platform as a service], delivering innovation, reliability and scalability at every turn and as part of even the things they’re using in the private cloud, those are all really enabled by Exadata and we’re really thrilled to be Gap’s extra tee partner in their effort.”

Meanwhile, Oracle’s chief technology officer, Larry Ellison, highlighted the supplier’s so-called “autonomous database”.

“The future of Oracle’s cloud infrastructure business rests upon our highly secure Gen2 cloud infrastructure featuring the world’s first and only autonomous database,” he said. “By the end of Q3 we had nearly 1,000 paying autonomous database customers and we added around 4,000 new autonomous database trials in Q3.”

Oracle’s autonomous database is its core database, endowed with automated administration capabilities derived from its placement, as a service, on the cloud.

On the analyst call, Ellison took his by now customary swipe at Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“Our infrastructure technology is highly differentiated from AWS. Each one of our cloud computers has a separate security processor and memory, insulating customers from intruding upon each other, and it also makes our cloud control code inaccessible by customers,” he said.

“No other cloud service provider offers this kind of protection across their entire public cloud. The Oracle autonomous database is the only database that can respond to a security threat automatically. No downtime is required. No other database has this capability.”

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