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Oracle's Fiscal 4Q Sales Disappoint Wall St. Again

Ellison, an executive known for brash statements, promised analysts during a Thursday conference call that Oracle is poised to unveil a series of "startling" partnerships with Salesforce, NetSuite and other cloud computing services that will rely on Oracle's latest database software. "These partnerships in the cloud I think will reshape the cloud and reshape the perception of Oracle technology in the cloud," Ellison said. He added that more details will be provided next week.

In an apparent attempt to win over skeptical investors, Oracle is doubling its quarterly dividend. A payment of 12 cents per share will be made on Aug. 2 to shareholders of record as of July 12. Oracle will also try to boost its stock by spending an additional $12 billion buying back its own shares. The stock will move from the Nasdaq exchange to the New York Stock Exchange next month if Oracle wins approval of an application announced Thursday.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., company earned $3.8 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the three months ending in May. That represents a 10 percent increase from income of $3.5 billion, or 69 cents per share, at the same time last year.

If not for certain expenses unrelated to its ongoing business, Oracle said it would have earned 87 cents per share. That matched the average estimate among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

But revenue remained unchanged at $10.9 billion â¿¿ about $170 million below analyst forecasts.

In a particularly telling sign, Oracle's sales of new software licenses and cloud computing subscriptions increased just 1 percent from last year. If not for currency fluctuations that undercut Oracle, the company said the increase would have been 2 percent. A relatively strong U.S. dollar means sales made in other currencies get converted into fewer dollars.

The mid-range of an estimate provided by Oracle's management in March called for a 6 percent increase, excluding differences in currency rates. New software licenses and subscriptions are considered to be a key measure of a software maker's health because they set up a steady flow of future revenue.

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