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Oracle Beats, Sees Sun Profit

Oracle beats Wall Street's fourth-quarter estimates, boosted by software sales and its recent <B>Sun</B> acquisition.

Story updated with Oracle guidance and Larry Ellison comments.



) --


(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report

beat Wall Street's estimates in its

fourth-quarter results,

boosted by software sales and its recent acquisition of

Sun Microsystems.

Excluding items, Oracle brought in revenue of $9.6 billion, a 40% increase on the prior year's quarter, and just above analysts' estimate of $9.5 billion.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

The database specialist, which spent $7.4 billion on Sun Microsystems earlier this year, also enjoyed a profit hike. Excluding items, Oracle earned 60 cents a share, a 30% jump on the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 54 cents a share.

Oracle's revenue from new software licenses was $3.1 billion during the quarter, up 14% compared to the prior year's quarter.

Investors responded positively to Oracle's numbers. The company's stock surged 83 cents, or 3.74%, to $23.05 in extended trading.

Oracle also used its fourth-quarter results as an opportunity for some more saber-rattling in its ongoing battle with German software giant

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"We continue to take large chunks of market share away from SAP," said Oracle president Charles Phillips, in a statement released after market close. "Over the last twelve months Oracle's applications business has grown five percent on a constant dollar basis while SAP's business has declined 24 percent over their previous four quarters."

The results also mark the first full quarter of revenue from Oracle's

Sun acquisition


Excluding items, Sun contributed over $400 million to Oracle's fourth-quarter operating income, according to Safra Catz, another of the company's presidents. Sun, operating as an independent company, recorded a loss in the same period last year, she added.

Oracle is now even more confident that a profitable Sun will contribute at least $1.5 billion to its non-GAAP operating income in fiscal 2011, and $2.0 billion in fiscal 2012, according to Catz.

The company's board also declared a cash dividend of 5 cents a share.

During a conference call to discuss the results, Oracle provided first-quarter guidance. Excluding items, the company expects total revenue growth of 44% to 48% at constant currency.

Also excluding items, Oracle predicts earnings of 36 cents a share to 38 cents a share at constant currency, up from 30 cents in the prior year's quarter.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison also took the opportunity to take a swipe at


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, explaining that Oracle's Exadata database machine is making inroads against the hardware giant.

"We sold the Exadata machine into some of IBM's largest and bluest accounts," he said, adding that Oracle's pipeline of Exadata deals is approaching $1 billion.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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