March 19, 2009

Oracle Exceeds Analysts Predictions In 4th Quarter

Oracle Corp. declared its first dividend on Wednesday as profit and revenue from new software licenses dipped in the latest quarter, but came out ahead of Wall Street's initial forecasts, the Associated Press reported.

The software maker's third-quarter results indicated that the company was able to sustain a better-than-expected pace of contract signings even as companies slow down technology spending.

The increasing strength of the dollar, however, hurt the company, as deals done in other currencies weren't worth as much in dollars.

Oracle shares went from $1.09, or 6.9 percent, to $16.92 in after-hours trading. Before Oracle reported its results, shares had gained 43 cents, or 2.8 percent, to close at $15.83 during the regular trading session.

Oracle reported a $1.33 billion earning, or 26 cents per share in the latest period, which covered December through February, compared to $1.34 billion, also 26 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Oracle reported its overall profit was 35 cents per share, 3 cents better than the average estimate by Thomson Reuters analysts.

The company said its sales would have jumped 11 percent without the currency fluctuations, but its total revenue was $5.45 billion, a 2 percent increase over last year"”beating out analyst predictions of $5.42 billion in sales.

Oracle is closely monitoring its sale of new software licenses, a figure that fell 6 percent to $1.5 billion, which was within the company's guidance and still better than analyst predictions.

Most of Oracle's earnings come from selling database software and so-called "middleware," which allows business-computing applications to communicate with each other. Both of those areas are under pressure because of the economic downturn.

As of April 8, Oracle's cash dividend will pay 5 cents per share to stockholders of record.


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