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Oracle's Q2 leaves Wall Street wanting more

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Oracle today learned that buying double-digit growth doesn't impress investors like it used to.

The insatiable software maker did its best to wow shareholders with a 26 per cent rise in second quarter revenue to $4.2bn. Net income surged as well, hitting $1.17bn on a 20 per cent year-over-year rise. The results were aided by Oracle's numerous acquisitions.

But the cruelest of all indicators - new software licenses - smudged Oracle's otherwise shiny figures.

New software sales rose just 14 per cent year-over-year. Wall Street hoped Oracle could push that figure to between 15 per cent and 20 per cent. New database and middleware licenses rose 9 per cent - a drop from the first quarter - and new application licenses increased 28 per cent - missing a 40 per cent forecast from analysts.

So, investors chipped away at Oracle shares in the after-hours markets, nicking 2.5 per cent (at the time of this report) off Monday's $17.91 close.

Oracle's CFO Safra Catz blamed the new sales softness "on a number of deals that didn't close during the quarter."

Well played.

Oracle's total software revenue jumped 23 per cent during the second quarter to $3.2bn, while services charged higher 41 per cent to $949m.

CEO Larry Ellison cheered his vigorous acquisition strategy, saying Oracle "has strengthened our competitiveness in several industries including retail, banking, telecommunications and utilities."

President Charles Phillips was relegated to rival bashing duties.

"We continue to gain market share in applications from SAP, in middleware from BEA, and in database from IBM," he said. "In Q2 our middleware new license growth was exceptionally strong. We expect to pass BEA in total middleware new license sales later this year." ®

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