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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Oracle sales beat forecasts
Larry Ellison, Oracle chief executive
Larry Ellison: Oracle's database position 'never stronger'
The world's second largest software company, Oracle, has reported a fall in profits for the March to May period, but its sales figures beat analysts' forecasts.

The company said net income for the last quarter was $655.9m (440m) compared to a figure of $854.9m in the same period last year.

Sales for the three month period were $2.77bn, higher than Wall Street forecasts of about $2.55bn.

Shares in Oracle jumped to $10.13 in after hours trading, up from its close on the Nasdaq of $8.98.

Tough times

"This management team proved it can preserve profits even when times are tough," said chief financial officer Jeff Henley.

But he said trading for the forthcoming quarter would continue to be tough, and said that he did not expect a pick up in overall technology spending for at least six months.

He added despite the subdued outlook, Oracle had "no current plans to downsize," although these plans may be changed if their forecasts prove incorrect.

Excluding a one-off charge, Oracle's net income was $760m in the March to May period.

New software sales came in better than expected at $1.15bn.

And Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said the company's position in its key database market had "never been stronger".

He said the company "should continue to gain market share in the years to come".

Tech woe

But while investors welcomed the news from Oracle there was a sharp reminder that all is not well in the tech sector.

The world's number two chip maker AMD said it expected to a report a "substantial operating loss" for the second quarter of its financial year, due to poor PC sales.

Also on Tuesday, Apple Computer cuts its earnings forecasts, blaming poor sales to consumers and creative industries.

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Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison
"We're trying to be extremely conservative"
See also:

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