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Mar 15, 2017

Oracle revenue up on transition to cloud-based products, shares rise

Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, Calif.

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Oracle Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and adjusted revenue as the business software maker benefits from its transition to cloud-based products.

Oracle's shares rose 5.2 per cent to US$45.30 in extended trading on Wednesday.

Sales of the company's cloud-computing software and platform service rose nearly 62 per cent to US$1.19 billion, while its software licensing business fell nearly 16 per cent.

"The worst of this cloud transition is over [for Oracle]," Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White wrote in a note.

The company's shift to cloud-based products to tackle the shrinking licensing business was strengthened with its US$9.3 billion NetSuite acquisition in July. The deal helped the company to take on nimbler rivals such as Workday Inc and Salesforce.com Inc.

"The growth in revenue from our cloud business has overtaken new software license declines on an annual basis," Safra Catz, Oracle chief executive said during the earnings call on Wednesday.

The Redwood City, California-based company said adjusted revenue from its Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) unit rose 86 per cent to US$1.1 billion on a constant currency basis, which was at the high end of its previous guidance.

"I would have thought it (SaaS and PaaS revenue) would be even higher, but investors should be ok given that it was in the high-end of their guidance," Wedbush Securities analyst Steve Koenig said.

Oracle's net income rose to US$2.24 billion, or 53 cents US per share, in the third quarter ended Feb. 28, from US$2.14 billion, or 50 cents US per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 69 cents US per share beating the average analysts' estimate of 62 cents US per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's provision for income taxes in the latest quarter fell 22 per cent to US$459 million.

Oracle's total adjusted revenue rose nearly three per cent to US$9.27 billion, marginally beating estimates.

The company forecast current-quarter earnings of 78 cents US to 82 cents US per share and revenue to grow between negative one per cent and positive two per cent.

Analysts are expecting fourth-quarter profit of 78 cents US and revenue of US$10.62 billion.