Oracle 3Q Results Beat Street, Dividend Raised

By Technology FOXBusiness

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) on Thursday posted fiscal third-quarter results that easily beat analyst forecasts, as revenue rose on increased sales from hardware products generated through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, and the company inked several new deals related to its cloud computing technology.

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The enterprise software giant weighed in with a profit of $2.12 billion, or 41 cents a share, compared with year-ago earnings of $1.19 billion, or 23 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share improved to 54 cents, up from 28 cents in the third quarter of last year.

Revenue surged 37% to $8.76 billion, compared with last year’s sales of $6.47 billion.

The results easily topped expectations, as the Street was looking for adjusted earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $8.67 billion.

Operating margins improved to 34.1% from 28.8%. The company said it saw gross margins widen on hardware products, due to sales of its server hardware through the acquisition of Sun, completed early last year.

"Our hardware product gross margins increased to 55% in the quarter so we are now completely confident that we will exceed the $1.5 billion profit goal we set for the overall Sun business for the current fiscal year," said Oracle President, Safra Catz, in a release.

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The tech-giant boasted “broad based” improvements in performance from all geographies, with each reporting revenue growth of 30% or more.

“The sequential revenue growth for Exadata and Exalogic was up over 50%. And we expect to see an even higher growth rate for these two game changing technologies in Q4," said Oracle President, Mark Hurd, who joined the company last fall after leaving Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).

The company also announced that its board boosted its quarterly cash dividend to 6 cents per common share, up from the previous dividend of 5 cents. The increased dividend will be paid on May 4, 2011, to all shareholders of record on April 13.

Shares of Oracle rose 2.3% on Thursday, closing the session at $32.14. The stock was up 13 cents in after-hours trading.

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