Oracle Delivers Revenue and Profit Increases

By Robert McMillan and Maria Armental Features Dow Jones Newswires

With Oracle Corp.'s shares hitting all-time highs this summer, the company Thursday reported earnings that gave investors further reason for optimism about the company's efforts to reinvent itself.

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The 40-year-old seller of business software has spent billions of dollars over the past few years in an effort to transform into a post-millennium company selling web-based, on-demand computing services known as the cloud. That investment appears to be paying off as Oracle's cloud business performed well during the company's fiscal first quarter.

Sales of business software, delivered over the internet as a service rose 62% to $1.07 billion. Sales of the services used by software developers to build applications on the cloud, called platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, increased by 28% to $400 million.

Last quarter, Oracle began reporting its software-as-a-service figures separately, a sign the business has become more competitive, analysts said. But the company has now combined reporting on its platform and infrastructure businesses, making it harder to determine how each is performing.

"Our cloud applications business continues to grow more than twice as fast as Salesforce.com," Oracle Chief Executive Mark Hurd said in a statement.

The Redwood City, Calif., company said revenue rose 7% to $9.19 billion. Earnings rose 21% to $2.21 billion, or 52 cents a share, from $1.83 billion, or 43 cents a share, a year earlier. When adjusted for stock-based compensation and other items, earnings were 62 cents a share, up from 55 cents a share a year earlier.

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Analysts had expected Oracle to earn 60 cents a share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $9 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters Corp.

Oracle shares, which set a record high of $53.14 during regular trading Thursday, rose 2% to $53.88 in after-hours trading.

Write to Robert McMillan at Robert.Mcmillan@wsj.com and Maria Armental at maria.armental@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 14, 2017 16:32 ET (20:32 GMT)