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Oracle earnings beat estimates by a penny

Oracle Corp.  posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by stronger-than-expected new software license revenue.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Business software maker Oracle Corp. on Thursday said its fiscal fourth profit rose 27 percent on record revenue as sales surged across most of its business lines and geographic regions.

Net income for the three months ending May 31 rose to $1.3 billion, or 24 cents a share, compared with $1.02 billion, or 20 cents, in the same quarter of last year. Revenue grew 25 percent to $4.85 billion from $3.88 billion. The results were largely in line with estimates issued last week, when the Redwood Shores-based company said it expected to beat an earlier financial forecast.

Excluding acquisition expenses and other costs, Oracle earned 29 cents per share, 1 cent higher than the average estimate among analysts polled by Thomson Financial. Sales also beat Wall Street estimates of $4.7 billion. If it weren’t for a higher-than-expected tax rate, Oracle would have earned 30 cents, President Safra Catz said.

New software license sales, which investors watch closely because they are a strong indicator of future performance, rose 32 percent to $2.1 billion from $1.6 billion last year. Results for both periods include Oracle’s $11.1 billion acquisition of PeopleSoft Inc.

Since early last year, Oracle has spent more than $20 billion acquiring competitors in the business software arena in bid to combat slowing growth.

“It was a very, very strong finish to a very critical year for Oracle,” Catz said on a conference call with reporters. “It shows that our strategy is working and taking hold.”

Catz forecast profit before one-time costs in the current quarter would be 16 cents, matching the average analyst estimate. Sales will rise 19 percent to 20 percent from the same period last year, she said, which translates to $3.29 billion to $3.32 billion, slightly below the $3.36 billion analysts had been expecting.

Catz said the forecast was highly dependent on currency exchange rates, which have fluctuated recently.

Sales of database and related software grew 18 percent.

Oracle released the results after the stock market closed. The company’s shares rose 8 cents in extended trading. Earlier, they fell 20 cents to close at $14.33 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has gained more than 17 percent so far this year.

Oracle Corp. on Thursday posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by stronger-than-expected new software license revenue.

Fourth-quarter net income rose to $1.3 billion, or 24 cents per share, from $1.0 billion, or 20 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 25 percent to $4.9 billion.

Excluding items, the company said it posted a per-share profit of 29 cents. Analysts on average were forecasting a per-share profit of 28 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Last week the company said in a preliminary report that its fourth-quarter profit would beat its own forecast on stronger-than-expected new software license revenue.