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B of A Conference: Oracle Dismisses First-Quarter B2B Shortfall

An official says it fell short of expectations only because of "one or two deals."

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gary Bloom, Oracle's (ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report executive vice president, blamed his company's recent disappointing application software sales on the absence of "one or two deals," totaling just $8 million.

Oracle's application software sales, which include its

E-Business Suite 11i

B2B software, grew 42% in its fiscal first quarter, which ended Aug. 31, from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 50% to 60% growth from the business for the world's second-largest software maker. (


wrote about Oracle's earnings last week.)

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"It was a little light of what some analysts were expecting," Bloom said on the first day of the

Banc of America Securities Investment Conference

here. "If you look at the difference between the 42% growth and 50% growth, that's only about $8 million, so from Oracle's perspective, that's not that much."

Asked later whether his comments indicated that certain deals fell through during the quarter or didn't close in time to be recorded in the quarter, Bloom was circumspect.

"I don't really look at it that way," Bloom said. "There's so much in the pipeline, that these quarterly boundaries are really just arbitrary boundaries."

So what's better, trimesters?