Oracle Q4 profits top estimates; shares fall after hours

Database giant reports $3.2 billion in net income, revenue of $10.78 billion

Shares of Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) fell 6.7 percent in extended trading Thursday after the database giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $3.21 billion, or 62 cents a share, up 36 percent from $2.36 billion, or 46 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding one-time items, Oracle's earned 75 cents a share in the quarter ended May 31 on revenue of $10.78 billion, up 13 percent from sales of $9.51 billion a year ago.

(Also see: Oracle CFO resigns suddenly)

Analysts had expected on average earnings of 71 cents a share on revenue of $10.8 billion.

Oracle shares dropped as low as 2.45, or 6.7 percent, to 30.01, before recovering slightly to 30.35 by 5 p.m. The stock closed Thursday's regular session at 32.46, up 26 cents, or 0.8 percent.

Hard to believe investors are punishing Oracle after hours for the slight miss in revenues, but there it is.

Software license and support revenues comprised 71 percent of Oracle's Q4 sales, at $7.7 billion, up 17 percent from last year. Hardware sales fell 6 percent $1.16 billion, accounting for 11 percent of sales. Including support, hardware revenue was 17 percent of the quarter's total.

Overall operating expenses for the quarter rose 3 percent to $6.42 billion from last year's $6.21 billion, but fell as a percentage of revenue to 60 percent from 65 percent.

For the full fiscal year, Oracle reported net income of $8.55 billion, up 39 percent from fiscal 2010's $6.14 billion. Revenue for the full year was $35.6 billion, up 33 percent from $26.8 billion in fiscal 2010.

The company's board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 6 cents a share, payable on Aug. 3.

In a statement accompanying the earnings release, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said, "In FY11 Oracle’s database business experienced its fastest growth in a decade. Over the past few years we added features to the Oracle database for both cloud computing and in-memory databases that led to increased database sales this past year."

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