Oracle Profit Soars 28% for Q1

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Oracle Friday revealed that its net income for its fiscal first quarter soared by 28 percent while revenues rose 2 percent from the same time a year ago.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., software maker, embroiled in a protracted fight to takeover rival PeopleSoft , posted income of $440 million on revenues $2.07 billion for the quarter, which ended on Aug. 31st, compared to its year-ago profit of $343 million on revenues of $2.03 billion. Earnings per share rose two cents to eight cents from the same quarter for 2002.

Analysts were expecting 8 cents per share.

Oracle lost a bit to competitors on new software license sales, which dipped 7 percent to $525 million, but software license updates and product support hiked 14 percent to $1.03 million. Oracle generated over $1.25 billion in cash for the quarter.

"Once again, the quarter showed positive growth in total revenues, and we expect to see continued improvement in total revenue and new license growth in Q2 led by North America, said Oracle Chief Financial Officer Jeff Henley.

Oracle Chief Executive Officer made it clear in a press statement that Oracle expects even better results in the future owing to the company's new grid computing software push, which was widely detailed this week at OracleWorld San Francisco 2003.

"We're all very excited about the announcement of the next version of our database and application server called Oracle 10g," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Unveiled Monday this week, Oracle 10g is the first database designed to run on a grid of 64 to 128 Linux Intel servers. Oracle is championing it as a low-cost alternative to products from IBM, HP, Microsoft, Sun and other computing vendors.

Oracle has spent the last week hammering out plans for its closed grid computing proposition, which links together computers to act as a single system.

"What Oracle brings is software (10g) that lets you use this grid computing model," said Chuck Rozwat, Executive Vice President, Database Server Technologies at Oracle, in his keynote Thursday afternoon. "The payoff is lower cost and improved quality of service."

Rozwat demonstrated the major features in Oracle Database 10g, including Automated Storage Management (ASM); Flashback Query; integrated Clusterware; Workload Manager; and Streams and Transportable Table Spaces for data provisioning. He also unveiled advances in the Oracle SQL engine and business intelligence capabilities.

Oracle is so focused on the grid concept that is looking to create a consortium based on it technology beliefs. Rozwat said his company hopes to carve out grid computing standards that will include open application programming interfaces (APIs) and other features for commercial use.

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