Oracle sales surge, beat forecast

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Oracle Corp said on Thursday fiscal third-quarter sales rose a better-than expected 37 percent as the business software maker capitalized on resurgent spending on technology.

The company run by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, which last year branched into server hardware through the purchase of Sun Microsystems, reported sales of $8.8 billion, up from $6.4 billion a year ago. That beat Wall Street forecasts of $8.7 billion.

New software license sales, which generate high-margin, long-term maintenance contracts and are a good gauge of the company's future profits, rose 29 percent to $2.2 billion.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby)