Oracle Posts Fiscal 2Q Beat

Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) said its earnings fell 2% on higher costs that offset stronger revenue during the quarter ended November, the first one with Safra Catzand Mark Hurd as co-chief executives.

Shares rose 2.6% to $42.22 in recent after-hours trading as earnings excluding certain items and revenue beat Wall Street's expectations.

Ms. Catz and Mr. Hurd were promoted to the top job in September as Larry Ellison, who built Oracle into one of the world's biggest tech firms, stepped down as CEO after 37 years. Mr. Ellison will stay on to lead the company's software and hardware engineering functions.

Oracle has been under pressure to make its products more compatible with subscription-based cloud computing services accessed from remote computers and to reduce its reliance on sales of licensed software that runs on customers' own server systems.

In the latest period, cloud revenue, excluding update and support revenue, climbed 45% to $516 million. New software license revenue rose 3.6% to $2.05 billiion.

For the period ended Nov. 30, Oracle reported a profit of $2.5 billion, down from $2.55 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were flat at 56 cents as the number of shares outstanding declined. Excluding stock-based compensation, restructuring-related charges and other items, per-share earnings were 69 cents.

Revenue increased 3.5% to $9.6 billion. Excluding foreign-exchange impacts, revenue rose 7%.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share profit of 68 cents and revenue of $9.51 billion.

Total operating expenses grew 3.3%.