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Oracle posts stronger-than-expected Q2 earnings, revenue results

In response, Oracle shares immediately rallied by 3.6 percent initially in after-hours trading.

Oracle's last quarterly earnings announcement dropped with news of the biggest leadership shuffle in the company's history.

This quarter, things aren't quite as dramatic down in Redwood City, Calif., but the pressure was still on given Oracle has missed revenue targets five out of the last six quarters.

Not so this time.

The hardware and software giant reported a net income of $2.5 billion, or 56 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 69 cents per share on a revenue of $9.6 billion.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $9.51 billion.

In response, Oracle shares immediately rallied by 3.6 percent initially in after-hours trading.

"We continue to deliver industry-leading operating margins and cash flow even after adding the thousands of specialized sales people and engineers necessary to accelerate the growth of our new cloud businesses," wrote Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz in prepared remarks on Wednesday.

Oracle highlighted revenue surges across its burgeoning cloud portfolio with Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) revenue up 45 percent year-over-year to $516 million.

By comparison, standard cloud and software revenues were up five percent to $7.3 billion and hardware only inched a point upward to $1.3 billion for the three-month period.

Oracle reiterated concerns over U.S. Dollar to foreign currency comparisons, stressing fiscal Q2 results on everything from non-GAAP earnings to software and cloud revenues would have been higher by a few points a piece at least.

Nevertheless, Oracle chairman and chief technology officer Larry Ellison maintained an optimistic outlook for the rest of fiscal 2014, projecting that new cloud bookings will exceed $250 million by the fourth quarter.

"Next fiscal year our new cloud bookings will be well over the billion dollars mark," Ellison further projected.

Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd added cloud bookings grew at a rate of more than 140 percent during the quarter, boasting Oracle now has over 600 ERP Fusion Cloud customers, or "five-times more ERP customers than Workday."

For the current quarter, Wall Street is expecting Oracle to return with earnings of 73 cents per share on a revenue of $9.69 billion.