Oracle up to bat: Red Hat bashing possible

Summary:In what's expected to be an otherwise so-so second quarter report, Oracle may shed some light on its two-month-old plan to support Red Hat Linux. Oracle reports its fiscal second quarter results after the market closes today and analysts aren't expecting a blow-out quarter with earnings of 22 cents a share on sales of $4.

In what's expected to be an otherwise so-so second quarter report, Oracle may shed some light on its two-month-old plan to support Red Hat Linux.

Oracle reports its fiscal second quarter results after the market closes today and analysts aren't expecting a blow-out quarter with earnings of 22 cents a share on sales of $4.14 billion, according to Thomson Financial. Most expect lackluster (relative to what Wall Street wants) database growth. Worries also abound on chatter about Oracle's restrictions on non-deal related travel and a possible hiring freeze. However, you can't read too much into that chatter, says Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher in a research note.

"The three themes that surfaced most often were management's unwillingness to engage in excessive discounting, restrictions in sales on non deal related travel, and a potential hiring freeze in 3Q.  We interpret management's firm adherence to a discounting discipline as a reflection of its confidence that the company was on target to meet or beat estimates heading into the close."

The wild-card in all this is Oracle's take on its Linux support initiative and what that means for Red Hat. Now it is possible Oracle won't mention Linux, but typically Larry Ellison slaps some rival around and talking trash against SAP has got to be getting old.

If Oracle stays mum on Red Hat competition no worries. Red Hat's prospects will be revealed on Thursday when it reports its fiscal third quarter results.

Topics: Oracle

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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