The phenomenal growth of the Internet helped lift Oracle to record profits for its first quarter results, easily beating Wall Street expectations.
Revenues for the quarter ending 31 August were $1.7 billion, up 28 per cent from $1.4 billion last year. Net income leapt 30 per cent to $195 million, or 20 cents a share. Wall Street had predicted 16 cents a share.
"The phenomenal growth of the Internet is driving demand for our database technology," said Larry Ellison, Oracle chairman and chief executive. "Today, Oracle is the foundation of every popular Internet site from Amazon.com to Yahoo!," he continued.
The better-than-expected results will be a welcome boost to Oracle, which next week launches its long-awaited Oracle 8i database product. In previous quarters there had been worrying signs of a slowdown in demand for its database tools, while heavy attack from Microsoft have led to stiff price competition.
Oracle has also struggled to boost its applications business, so it will be relieved to see revenues from applications and related services jump 37 per cent to $500 million.
It was not all good news for Oracle, with its sales in Asia Pacific being particularly badly hit by that region's economic troubles. Revenues were down 14 per cent, compared to the Americas where revenues rose 37 per cent. Emea also boasted a 33 per cent increase.
"This was a critical transition period for us that tested a more focused and productive organisation," said Ray Lane, Oracle's president and chief operating officer. "We continued to grow in the database business with outstanding results in the US and Europe. We really focused our applications business and achieved several significant competitive wins, and our services business continues to set new records...all round, a quarter that exceeded our expectations."
Oracle 8i is being touted by company executives as not just another database but an Internet operating system as well. By incorporating an Internet file system with the core database, user no longer have to rely on file systems such as those in Novell Netware.
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