Oracle beats outlook, shrugs off fiscal debate
By Jim Finkle and Noel Randewich
BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Technology giant Oracle Corp said software sales growth will stay strong into the new year despite fears that there could be big tax hikes and U.S. government spending cuts that could cause a slump in spending by customers.
Shares of the world's No. 3 software maker rose 1.3 percent after it reported fiscal second-quarter revenue and earnings that surpassed Wall Street forecasts.
Oracle President Safra Catz told investors that businesses were still looking to spend money already allocated to 2012 technology budgets.
"Folks want to close deals," she told analysts on a conference call following the earnings release on Tuesday. There has been "no negative impact on pricing. Pricing remains very good for us."
Oracle said software sales would grow 3 to 13 percent this quarter, which runs through February. It expects fiscal third-quarter hardware products sales to be flat to down 10 percent from a year ago.
The company's software and hardware forecasts were roughly in line with Wall Street expectations, according to FBR Markets analyst Daniel Ives.
Oracle reported that software sales and cloud software subscriptions rose 17 percent from a year earlier to $2.4 billion in its fiscal second quarter ended November 30.
It had forecast that new software sales would climb 5 to 15 percent from a year earlier, when it last reported earnings on September 20. Continued...