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Oracle results beat Street forecasts

Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press

Oracle Corp. posted quarterly revenue slightly above Wall Street expectations, defying a weak outlook for global technology spending.

New software sales, a gauge of future profit because they generate high-margin long-term service contracts, rose 17 per cent compared with analysts' expectations for 15 per cent.

Oracle, which competes with SAP AG in selling software to corporations and public agencies, reports results a month before its rivals – giving investors a peek at July and August this year – and is watched for the latest insights into industry trends.

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The company, run by flamboyant Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, on Tuesday reported revenue of $8.37-billion (U.S.) in the fiscal first quarter ended August. This is just a touch ahead of Wall Street's target of $8.35-billion and up 12 per cent from $7.50-billion in the year-ago period.

Net income came to $1.84-billion, or 36 cents share, up from $1.35-billion, or 27 cents a share, in the same quarter the year before. Excluding unusual items it earned 48 cents per share compared with analysts' expectations for 46 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also announced a quarterly cash dividend of 6 cents per share to be paid Nov. 2.

The outlook for worldwide technology spending has darkened after warnings by bellwether technology vendors from Dell Inc. to Cisco Systems Inc. Governments are scaling back purchases to reduce deficits while corporations are tightening budgets to cope with a worsening economic picture.

Net income came to $1.84-billion, or 36 cents share, up from $1.35-billion, or 27 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Shares in the world's No. 3 software maker rose 1 per cent in extended trading, after closing down 2 per cent at $28.35 on Nasdaq.

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