, along with other software stocks hit by a blizzard of earnings warnings last week, was making gains Monday, propelled by good war news and a major government contract win.
In recent trading, Oracle was up 57 cents, or 5%, to $11.95. Other software leaders were
, up $1.67, or 5.2%, to $33.87;
( RSAS), up 38 cents, or 5.5%, to $7.29;
, up $1.21, or 6.1%, to $21.16; and
( SEBL), up 20 cents, or 2.5%, at 7.96.
On Monday, the Redwood Shores, Calif., company announced that the federal Transportation Security Administration will adopt Oracle9i database and other software as standards, including the company's application server and CRM suite. Neither Oracle nor
, TSA's prime IT contractor, which actually holds the contract, would disclose the size of the licensing agreement.
A spokeswoman for Unisys said the agreement to build an IT infrastructure for the agency was initially signed to run three years, with two two-year options to extend. If it does run seven years, it will be worth about $1 billion. Unisys will share that income with 40 subcontractors, she said.
The Transportation Security Agency is part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is to protect U.S. transportation systems.
The win for Oracle comes at a good time. Last month, it
reported that third-quarter revenue derived from new software licenses -- a key indicator of growth -- had come in at the low end of the company's guidance.
New software-license revenue was down 4% to $755 million; the company was expecting the key measure to range from negative 5% to positive 5%.
Government sales at all levels in the U.S. and other countries is Oracle's largest segment, representing 20% to 25% of the company's total revenue.
Although the news for Oracle was significant, it's likely that growing war-related business has already been priced into the stock. Moreover, analyst Trip Chowdhry of Midwest Research says that checks with major system integrators in Europe reveal a slowdown in Oracle deployments there and in Asia. According to Chowdhry, the slowdown stems from war-related concerns and difficulties closing deals, plus some shifting of priorities. "We're already seeing a move away from nice-to-have projects like e-government as defense becomes a bigger priority," he said. (Midwest Research does not have an investment banking relationship with Oracle.)