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Super Q4 for Oracle

Claims of eating IBM's lunch

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Oracle has claimed its database and middleware operations stole business from competitor IBM during a fiscal fourth-quarter that met increased expectations.

Chief executive Larry Ellison spent Thursday crowing about 18 per cent growth in Oracle's database and middleware business during the last three months of fiscal 2006 along with a nine per cent increase for the full year.

"We are growing faster than the overall database market because we are winning share from competitors," Ellison said in a statement as Oracle announced the results. In previous quarters Oracle has seen its largest database growth on Linux.

Applications, a problem area in previous quarters, saw new license sales grow 53 per cent organically and 83 per cent with acquisitions included. Oracle bought 18 software companies during the period for fiscal 2005 and 2006.

Total income surged 27 per cent to $1.3bn for the three months to May 31, as revenue hit $4.8bn, a gain of 25 per cent, and earnings per diluted share increased five cents to $0.25. Oracle foreshadowed the numbers by upping its expected earnings last week.

For the year, Oracle reported a 17 per cent jump in total income to $3.3bn on revene of $14.3bn, an increase of 22 per cent. EPS hit $0.64, an increase of nine cents. Not that Oracle wasn't paying for last year's acquisition-rich diet. Operating expenses increased 24 per cent to $9.6bn for the year while Oracle experienced a 21 per cent growth in expenses for the fourth quarter to $2.9bn.®

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