Friday, September 21, 2007

Oracle reports another blow-out quarter

By my count, it's now three quarters that Oracle has reported financial results that exceeded expectations. The first time (Oracle's last year Q3), I questioned whether Oracle had achieved those results by draining its pipeline for Q4.

But then Oracle's blow-out results in Q4 ruined my theory. But I noted that Oracle co-President Safra Catz was predicting a whopping 20-30% increase in new license sales for Q1.

So what is Oracle reporting now for Q1? A 35% increase in new license sales, including a 65% increase in Oracle's application software revenue. Some other results: a 26% increase in revenue and a 25% improvement in net income. All of these results exceed just about anyone's expectations.

So what's going on? Certainly, a strong technology market doesn't hurt. Evidence of that is SAP's strong performance last quarter (it has yet to report the most recent quarter). Many other technology providers are showing strong results as well. Furthermore, I'm seeing and hearing of many new deals in process for enterprise software vendors generally, more so than in years.

But it's impossible to ignore the fact that Oracle's results also speak to the success of its acquisition strategy. Oracle keeps acquiring and integrating smaller vendors each quarter. This quarter's results include revenues from its pick up of Hyperion and Agile Software. Whether or not you like the trend toward vendor consolidation, of which Oracle is a major driver, it's hard to argue with success. We'll have to wait another three months to see if it can continue its hitting streak.

In the meantime, I am giving up on trying to predict Oracle's performance.

Related posts
SAP sales jump, defying Oracle's PR campaign
Oracle's Q4 beats estimates
Did Oracle just drain its pipeline?

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