Oracle shares jump after hours following strong Q2 earnings

Net income rises 28 percent, revenue soars 47 percent to $8.6 billion

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Shares of Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) jumped more than 4 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the database giant reported impressive second-quarter earnings.

Oracle's stock reached as high as 31.75 early in the extended session before settling back to 31.45 by 6:30 p.m. Shares closed regular trading Thursday at 30.27, down 22 cents, or 0.7 percent, from Wednesday's close.

(Also see: Salesforce CEO trash talks Oracle 'cash cows')

The company said in its earnings release that net income for the quarter ended Nov. 30 was $1.87 billion, or 37 cents per share, a gain of 28 percent over last year's Q2 earnings of $1.46 billion, or 29 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, Oracle's earnings in Q2 were 51 cents a share. Consensus estimates called for non-GAAP earnings of 46 cents a share.

Second-quarter revenue was $8.58 billion, up 47 percent from the year-ago revenue of $5.86 billion. Software revenue of $5.64 billion comprised 66 percent of total sales, driven by a 21 percent increase in new software licenses to $2.0 billion. License updates gained 12 percent to $3.65 billion.

Sun Microsystems hardware products such as its Exadata database machines contributed $1.1 billion in revenue. Oracle purchased Sun earlier this year. Including systems support, hardware revenue was $1.75 billion.

Analysts had expected overall revenue of $8.3 billion.

In a prepared statement, Oracle co-president Mark Hurd -- who was hired by CEO Larry Ellison after resigning under pressure from Hewlett-Packard last summer, said, "Since joining Oracle I've met with and visited many customers that have expressed a high level of enthusiasm around our strategy of engineering hardware and software that works together. That enthusiasm translates into an Exadata pipeline that has now grown to nearly $2 billion. That number is a good leading indicator that customers are planning to increase their investment in Oracle technology."

Oracle also announced that its board of directors has declared a cash dividend of 5 cents per share of common stock, to be paid next February.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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