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Oracle in dollar bother – but Larry's in a fighting mood over cloudy future

SAP 'not there,' Workday 'not competitive,' and Benioff's in for a shock, supremo chants

Larry Ellison appears unbothered by Oracle's third-quarter revenues remaining flat at US$9.3bn, despite that sum disappointing financial analysts.

Big Red revealed its recent results today, and GAAP net income for the three-month period ended February 28 was $2.5bn, down three per cent year on year, or 56 cents per share. Ellison, as always, was bullish.

"Oracle will sell more SaaS and PaaS systems than in this current calendar year 2015," the Oracle exec chairman said in an earnings call. "It's going to be close but I think we'll sell more in the cloud than they do. You won't have to wait very long to find out who's going to win this."

Oracle's SaaS, PaaS and IaaS revenues grew 33 per cent for the quarter to $527m, and bookings were up 100 per cent. All but one of Oracle's competitors in the cloud use Oracle Database, Larry said, and Salesforce and others had better watch out.

Salesforce wasn't the only firm to get a shellacking on the call. Ellison said his team had picked up 150 new customers in cloud enterprise resource planning, more than rival Workday had got in its entire history.

Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd joined in the kicking, adding that Workday was "not competitive." He added, in a seemingly wistful tone, that "you never see SAP in the cloud."

Oracle's revenues from its Software and Cloud division were up seven per cent on the quarter to $7.2bn. Hardware revenues rose by five per cent to $1.3bn, co-CEO Safra Catz said. Sales of new software license dropped seven per cent, year on year, to $1.98bn.

"Obviously we continued to gain share against IBM and HP, whose high end server businesses continue their decline," Catz said, joining the kick 'em when they're down party.

Revenues would have been higher – and thus met analysts' expectations – if US dollars weren't so valuable, Catz complained, saying Oracle had hit a "currency headwind." Volatility in the currency markets cost the firm 6 per cent of total dollar revenue and six cents per share.

Oracle is sitting on a cash pile of $43bn at the moment, Catz reported, although there's also plenty of debt aboard to make the unencumbered cash pile $11.5bn. The dividend per share has been raised from 12 cents to 15, and the California biz spent $2bn this quarter buying its own stock to support the share price. ®

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