Oracle delivers strong quarter, outlines plans for Sun

Company announces better-than-expected second quarter results and says it expects the European Union to clear its proposed acquisition of Sun.

Oracle delivered better-than-expected fiscal second quarter results, touted its applications business vs. SAP and said it expects the European Union to "unconditionally clear the acquisition of Sun in January". Oracle also outlined some of its strategy for taking Sun hardware upmarket.

The company reported net income of US$1.5 billion, or 29 cents a share, on revenue of US$5.9 billion, up 4 percent from a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, Oracle had earnings of 39 cents a share, 3 cents better than Wall Street estimates. Oracle's second quarter sales were also better than the US$5.7 billion expected by Wall Street.

According to a statement, Oracle reported its best second quarter operating margin in its history. In addition, the third quarter outlook was also strong. Sun projected GAAP earnings of 36 to 38 cents a share, or 30 to 33 cents a share in constant currency. Wall Street is expecting fully loaded earnings of 29 cents a share and non-GAAP earnings of 36 cents a share.

Meanwhile, Oracle said it expected the EU to approve its acquisition of Sun. Oracle president Safra Catz confirmed reports that the EU was leaning toward approval of the merger. Oracle moved to reassure MySQL customers earlier this week. On a conference call, Catz said that the Department of Justice, advisers and other U.S. representatives were helpful in dealing with the EU and getting a good outcome. Catz said:

"We expect the European Commission to unconditionally clear the acquisition of Sun in January."

Read more of "Oracle: Delivers strong quarter; Outlines plans for Sun" at ZDNet.com.

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