Oracle Corp. on Monday surprised Wall Street, reporting an 8% jump in revenue and a 13% rise in new software sales when compared with the same period in 2002.
New software license sales, considered the strongest indicator of success, increased to $849 million. Software license updates and product support revenues were up 17%, to 1.1 billion.
Net income grew 15% to $617 million, from $535 million in 2002, according to executives at the Redwood Shores, Calif., database giant.
Growth of application sales, which improved by 27%, outpaced the 11% increase in database sales, the company reported during an earnings call. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison took advantage of the opportunity to slam competitors in the application space.
"Our applications' growth of 27% exceeded the growth rates of many of our competitors, including SAP, PeopleSoft, Lawson and Siebel, in their most recently reported quarters," Ellison said.
"For example, new license sales at the combined PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards company declined 18%, compared to their results when they were operating as separate companies."
Ellison declined to comment on the ongoing controversies surrounding Oracle's attempt to acquire Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft.
Ellison predicated that Oracle's new 10g database and application server, along with its Real Application Cluster (RAC) technology and its concentration on the Linux platform, will propel Oracle forward in 2004.
Noel Yuhanna, a senior industry analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, predicted that Oracle will continue to be perceived as the vendor that supplies the world's best-performing database.
"The results indicate that they are still the performance leader, as well as the technology leader, when it comes to databases," Yuhanna said. "When it comes to high-end databases for enterprises, that's their main strength. And it continues to be dominant."
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