Oracle breathed a sigh of relief on Friday when its fiscal second quarter figures hit analysts? expectations.
Despite fears that the database market was flattening after the supplier?s last few disappointing quarters, revenues rose 27 per cent to $2.1 billion, while profits increased 46 per cent to $274 million.
?What a difference a year makes,? said Jeff Henley, Oracle?s executive vice president and chief financial officer. The company?s shares rose 6.62 per cent to a 1997 near all time high of $37.25 on the news. This was in stark contrast to the market?s reaction a year ago when it slashed Oracle?s share price nearly in half.
While the company?s core database business saw sales rise by a respectable 26 per cent worldwide, its applications business fared less well, growing only 19 per cent.
Henley attributed the shortfall to pent-up demand for release 11 of its packages. Sales were up 31 per cent in the US, where they shipped first, he said, and he expected to ?see the full effect of release 11 in the third quarter.?
Revenues increased overall in North America and Europe and even Asia Pacific turned over 7 per cent more than last year.Windows NT sales increased 71 per cent, but Unix revenues also picked up with growth of 12 per cent. Overall, software sales improved by 20 per cent, but services still outstipped this at 33 per cent.
Ray Lane, Oracle?s president and chief operating officer, said the company aimed to gain market share next year. ?We are optimistic about sales growth in 1999, even though our competitors are slowing down,? he added.
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