Oracle Off To Fast Start In Fiscal 2007; Revenue, Profit Up 29%

Sales of licenses for applications grew by 80%, but the company still gets most of its revenue from databases and middleware.
Oracle reported a strong first quarter for its fiscal 2007 when it announced revenues of $3.6 billion, up 30% from a year ago, and net income of $670 million, up 29%. "We exceeded our guidance on every metric and delivered strong revenue growth across all product lines," said Oracle president and CFO Safra Katz on Tuesday. First quarters are rarely the strongest of the year. That honor is usually held by Oracle's fourth quarter, ending Aug. 31.

The figures for the same quarter a year ago were revenue of $2.8 billion, up 25%, and net income of $519 million, up 19%.

The strongest revenue growth wasn't in database license sales, but in applications. Database and middleware new license revenues were up 15%, while application new license revenues were up 80%.

"Q1 was the second consecutive quarter that Oracle's applications new license sales growth was 80% or more. We're rapidly taking market share from SAP," said Oracle president Charles Phillips.

Oracle is also incorporating PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Seibel Systems applications into its product line after acquiring the three application vendors, reassuring their customers that they'll continue to enjoy technical support and citing progress on its road map to Fusion applications. If customers of the three vendors have started buying again, that would also account for Oracle application revenue growth. New application license revenue is still dwarfed by Oracle's dependence on its stream of maintenance revenues from database sales. New license revenue for databases and middleware amounted to $576 million in the first quarter, compared to $502 million a year ago. Maintenance, also known as updates and technical support, was over twice as much at $1.2 billion in the first quarter, compared to $1 billion a year ago.

New license revenue for applications was $228 million in the first quarter, compared to $127 million a year ago. Maintenance for applications was $703 million in the first quarter, compared to $466 a year ago.

On-demand revenue for Oracle's eBusiness Suite, the applications provided online from its data center, were up 49% to $125 million; consulting was up 33% to $640 million; and training/education was up 13% to $81 million.

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