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Jun 21, 2017

Oracle profit beats estimates on cloud push; shares rise

Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, Calif.

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Oracle Corp's (ORCL.N) quarterly profit blew past analysts' estimates as the business software maker's big push towards cloud-based products and services paid off.

The company's shares were up five per cent at US$48.74 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

Oracle said cloud-computing and on-premise software business revenue rose 5.3 per cent to US$8.88 billion in the fourth quarter ended May 31. The business accounted for 78 per cent of total revenue in 2016.

The company has been shifting to a cloud-based service as customers increasingly shun the costlier licensing model, a pattern also adopted by rivals such as Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), SAP SE (SAP.N) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

In an effort to strengthen its cloud business, Oracle signed a deal with AT&T Inc (T.N) in May, under which the U.S. telecom company agreed to move some of its large-scale databases to Oracle's cloud platform.

The company had said it expected more of its "big customers" to migrate their databases and database applications to Oracle Cloud in the coming year.

NetSuite, which Oracle acquired in 2016, is also expanding its data center footprint to take on nimbler rivals such as Workday Inc (WDAY.N) and Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM.N)

The company's net income rose to US$3.23 billion, or 76 cents US per share, in the fourth quarter ended May 31, from US$2.81 billion, or 66 cents US per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Oracle earned 89 cents US per share.

The company reported an adjusted revenue of US$10.94 billion.

Analysts on average had estimated a profit of 78 cents US per share and a revenue of US$10.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Up to Wednesday's close, Oracle's shares had risen about 20 per cent this year.