Updated from 8:19 a.m. ESTOracle ( ORCL) ended lower Friday as traders discounted research arguing the shares were a bargain after two consecutive quarters of solid earnings. Oracle ended at $12.05, down 20 cents, or 1.5%. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software giant reported net income of $635 million, or 12 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter, which ended Feb. 29. That compared to net income of $571 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. The stock's decline occurred despite research notes from several analysts pointing out that the shares trade at a discount to peers, in part because of uncertainty surrounding its hostile buyout offer for PeopleSoft ( PSFT). J.P. Morgan called the company one of the most attractive plays in the software sector, while S.G. Cowen said recent weakness creates a trading opportunity. First Albany upgraded the shares to buy, saying the quarter included the best database license growth in three years. It also cited the shares' recent weakness as creating a good entry point beneath its $15 price target. Third-quarter revenue rose to $2.51 billion from $2.31 billion a year earlier and was virtually flat from the previous quarter. License revenue -- a measure of new software sales -- climbed to $840 million from $743 million a year ago and up just very slightly from $849 million in the second quarter. The results were exactly in line with Wall Street analysts pegging net income at 12 cents a share on $2.51 billion in revenue in the third quarter, according to Thomson First Call. The average third-quarter license estimate of 11 analysts was nearly $839 million. But Oppenheimer analyst Sanjiv Hingorani noted that the results benefited from currency exchange rates. The company's guidance called for exchange rates contributing to a 6% increase in year-over-year sales, but a weaker dollar actually was responsible for 7% of the year-over-year growth in total revenue and 8% of new software license growth, he noted. "The underlying growth rate is obviously less by that amount," Hingorani said. "It was an in-line quarter but not as robust as might appear on the surface." Hingorani has a neutral rating on Oracle and his firm hasn't done banking with the company. In a post-close conference call, recently appointed Oracle chairman and outgoing CFO Jeff Henley said the company expects to post 10% revenue growth in its seasonally strong fourth quarter, bringing sales to $3.11 billion. New license sales should grow 5% to 15% year over year, to between $1.24 billion and $1.36 billion.