Oracle revenues hit US$2.5bn

12 Mar 2004

Oracle’s third quarter revenues increased to US$2.5bn, compared with US$2.3bn a year ago, meeting analysts’ expectations. The company said it is prepared to fight a US Justice Department anti-trust challenge to its PeopleSoft takeover bid and is considering several other acquisition opportunities.

The software giant, which employs around 1,000 people in Ireland, reported net earnings of US$635m, or 12 cents a share, compared with US$571m a year ago.

New software licenses rose 12pc to US$847m, while software license updates and product support grew 17pc to nearly US$1.2bn.

Oracle’s services business, however, fell to US$486m in the third quarter, compared with US$547m a year ago.

The company’s database business rose 16pc in the quarter, which CEO Larry Ellison attributed to the Oracle’s real application clustering (RAC) technology that allows customers to cluster databases together creating more computing power. Sales of the RAC option rose 86pc, Ellison said.

Oracle’s chief financial officer Jeff Henley said that the company anticipates modest improvement in software spending between now and the end of this year.

Henley, who was recently elevated to the role of chairman of Oracle, said that Oracle’s directors preferred to hold the company’s cash reserves for potential acquisitions rather than pay a cash dividend. Oracle had US$8bn in cash and short-term investments at the end of February.

By John Kennedy