Oracle beats Q4 expectations with continued cloud momentum

After landing a major deal to move AT&T workloads to the cloud, Oracle seeks to keep growing cloud revenues from its existing customers.

Oracle reported its fourth quarter financial results on Wednesday, beating market expectations with strong cloud growth.

The company's non-GAAP net income for Q4 2017 was $3.8 billion, with non-GAAP earnings per share coming to 89 cents. Total revenues hit $10.9 billion. A year prior, in Q4 2016, the company reported non-GAAP earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $10.6 billion.

Wall Street was looking for non-GAAP earnings of 79 cents a share on revenue of $10.46 billion.

The quarterly growth was driven by Oracle's cloud business, with cloud revenues up 58 percent year over year to $1.4 billion, and non-GAAP total cloud revenues up 64 percent to $1.4 billion.

Specifically, SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud revenues were up 67 percent year over year to $964 million, and non-GAAP SaaS revenues were up 75 percent to $1 billion. This marks the first quarter Oracle has hit $1 billion in non-GAAP SaaS revenue.

Oracle's cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service) plus IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) revenues were up 40 percent to $397 million, and non-GAAP PaaS plus IaaS revenues were up 42 percent to $403 million.

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However, on-premise software still accounts for the bulk of Oracle's revenue (69 percent). Total on-premise software revenues hit $7.52 billion for the quarter, resulting in a 1 percent year over year decline. Hardware revenues came in at $1.1 billion, down 13 percent. Services revenues totaled $894 million, up 3 percent.

Now focused squarely on its cloud business, Oracle executives suggested the company has hit its stride. CTO Larry Ellison noted Oracle doesn't necessarily have to win new business to grow cloud revenue -- it just has to move its own customers to the cloud and keep them. He pointed to a major deal with AT&T to move the business's workloads to the Oracle cloud.

"AT&T has agreed to migrate thousands of existing Oracle databases containing petabytes of data plus their associated applications workloads to the Oracle Cloud," said Ellison in a statement. "In the coming year, I expect more of our big customers to migrate their Oracle databases and database applications to the Oracle Cloud. These large-scale migrations will dramatically increase the size of both our PaaS and IaaS cloud businesses."

Meanwhile, CEO Mark Hurd noted that with $855 million of new annually recurring cloud revenue (ARR) in Q4, Oracle surpassed its $2 billion ARR bookings goal for fiscal year 2017.

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