Oracle's stock rose sharply yesterday after Larry Ellison, the database supplier's chairman, said he expected its third quarter North American sales to increase by 25 per cent. This compared to second quarter growth worldwide of only three per cent, but, according to US reports, analysts said they expected to see the company's database revenues grow between 15-20 per cent over the next quarter of two. As a result of the announcement, Oracle's stock rose $2.125 to $21.125 in early afternoon trading, but Randal Chin, analyst with BT Alex Brown, said he thought the increase was exaggerated because Ellison's forecast did nothing to address the continued weakness outside North America. "I think Ellison was talking more about the intermediate term and more about North America specifically as opposed to the database business in general. In other words, I think the company believes that North America is turning around and getting back on track, but there are still pockets of weakness, particularly Asia."
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