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Quick Hits: Oracle Rises Above Fray


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

Oracle (ORCL) says profit increased 28%, and it doesn't expect to be hurt by the carnage among financial service companies.

The enterprise software developer makes a range of tools to help businesses manage business operations, including data warehousing, customer relationships and supply chain management.

Oracle says earnings in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 totaled $1.08 billion, or 21 cents a share, up from $840 million, or $0.16 a year earlier. Revenue rose 18% to $5.33 billion from $4.53 billion.

"Oracle has once again increased its database market share according to the latest Gartner research report," Larry Ellison, the company's eccentric CEO, said in a prepared statement. "Oracle's 49% market share in the survey year 2007 was greater than the market share of the next 4 vendors combined: International Business Machines (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Teradata (TDC) and Sybase (SY)."

Oracle has aggressively expanded by acquisition, including the purchase of PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and Hyperion Solutions. This year, Oracle acquired BEA Systems for about $8.5 billion.

Oracle's earnings suggest conditions in the business software market are uneven, but not as dire as some feared.

First quarter growth primarily came from 27% increase in sales of database software. In general, sales tend to be related to current projects. But Oracle also said sales of business application software used to manage a company's sales contacts and other tasks dropped 12%. The sector generally represents new projects.

Oracle looks for revenue to grow by 12% to 15% in the current quarter. New software licenses are expected to grow 5% to 15%.
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