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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 01:19 GMT
Oracle profit dips on Peoplesoft
Oracle boss, Larry Ellison
Oracle's Larry Ellison has been on the acquisition trail
Oracle, the world's second-biggest software company, has seen quarterly profits slide 15% as a result of costs relating to its purchase of Peoplesoft.

Net income was $540m (286m) in the three months ending 28 February, from $635m a year earlier.

Sales climbed 18% to $2.95bn, missing analyst forecasts.

Buying smaller rival Peoplesoft, coupled with this week's takeover of Retek, is aimed at cutting Oracle's reliance on database software.

Better times?

It took Oracle 18 months to gain control of Peoplesoft and the battle was one of the most bitter US takeover battles of recent times.

Many of Peoplesoft's staff were opposed to the move, despite the prospect of the merged company becoming of the biggest players in the enterprise software market.

Oracle is predicting the profits will rebound and raised its forecast for 2005.

"The earnings look pretty good, there were some pushes and pulls within the numbers, but the bottom line is they raised their guidance for the year," said Steve Neimeth, a fund manager at AIG SunAmerica Mutual Funds.

Oracle said license revenue, a key measure of new software sales, in database business rose 11% to $782m from a year earlier.

Demand for Oracle's human resources and accounting software also climbed, adding 14% to $152m from $140 million.

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