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Oracle revenues miss expectations – AGAIN

Hardware division sales continue to shrink

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Oracle posted lower than expected revenue for the first quarter of its 2014 financial year, making it the third consecutive quarter that the database giant has missed analyst expectations.

Oracle announced revenues of $8.38bn and earnings per share of 59 cents on Wednesday, compared to the $8.48bn and EPS of 56 cents that the group of analysts polled by Yahoo! Finance had expected.

New software licenses and cloud software subscriptions were $1.65bn, up 5 per cent from the year-ago quarter. Software license updates and product support were $4.43bn, up 7 per cent from Q1 of 2013.

Where things get ugly is the company's strategically important hardware division, which Oracle gained when it acquired Sun Microsystems.

Here, the company's big red boxes are starting to look like albatrosses, with the business unit reporting hardware systems revenue of $669m, down 14.1 percent on the same quarter a year ago and a whopping 21.2 per cent on Q4 of 2013. This marks the worst performance for the division since the third quarter of Oracle's 2010 fiscal year.

Though these results look bad, Oracle president Mark Hurd said the engineered systems group "had its best ever Q1 in terms of unit sales, growing over 60% compared with the same quarter last year".

And Oracle's traditional business of extracting money from existing customers' support contracts seems to be alive and well, as hardware support for the quarter came in at $592m, up 3.1 per cent on the same quarter a year ago.

Overall, Oracle's total net income of $2.19bn for the quarter was up 7.9 per cent on the $2.03bn the company made in the first quarter of its fiscal 2013. As of this quarter, 20 percent of Oracle's revenues are generated by new software licenses, 53 percent from license updates and product support, and 15 percent from hardware. This compares with a mix of 19 percent software, 51 percent support, and 16 percent hardware in Q1 of 2013.

These results follow a quarter in which Oracle announced strategic alliances with Salesforce, Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud, and Dell for servers – three moves that guarantee Oracle new customers in the cloud and a fat pipe of existing customers to keep on selling to. ®

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