NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Oracle ( ORCL) posted strong quarterly results late Thursday, reporting that new software license sales were up 21% to $2 billion, above analyst expectations of $1.87 billion. The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software giant reported an adjusted profit of $2.6 billion, or 51 cents a share, on revenue of $8.65 billion for its fiscal second quarter ended Nov. 30. The performance topped the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for earnings of 46 cents a share on revenue of $8.34 billion. "Our new license growth of 21% demonstrates the strength of the company-specific momentum we are seeing," said Oracle President, Safra Catz, in a statement. "And our Sun business continues to improve with hardware gross margins increasing to 53%."
Oracle also reported higher-than expected revenue for its database/middleware products and software updates, but came in a little below expectations for its hardware sales, which were $1.11 billion versus Street estimates of $1.15 billion. Even in the company's press release, CEO Larry Ellison couldn't resist getting in a dig at his closest competitors. "Our new generation of Exadata, Exalogic and SPARC Supercluster computers deliver much better performance and much lower cost than the fastest machines from IBM and HP," he said. Oracle shares were last quoted at $31.47, up 4%, in after-hours action on volume of roughly 2.1 million, according to Nasdaq.com. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.