Oracle posts strong results, steals SAP market share

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Oracle may have come under a lot of fire over the past quarter but it has answered its critics with impressive results for the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

Total revenues rose by 17 per cent amounting $6.4 billion, up from $5.5 billion for the same quarter last year.

Jeff Epstein, chief financial officer of Oracle, said in a statement: "Our solid top line growth, coupled with disciplined expense management, was key in generating $8.0 billion of free cash flow over the last twelve months."

However, whilst sales were something to be happy about, it was the 21 per cent growth of new licences that put a smile on the chief executive's face.

"Every quarter we grab huge chunks of market share from SAP," bragged Larry Ellison in the company's earnings statement.

"SAP's most recent quarter was the best quarter of their year, only down 15 per cent, while Oracle's application sales were up 21 per cent."

Taking another dig at its management, Ellison added: "But SAP is well ahead of us in the number of CEOs for this year, announcing their third and fourth, while we only had one."

The biggest event of its quarter was finally closing the deal on the controversial acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Again though, Oracle spoke directly to its critics.

"The Sun integration is going even better than we expected," said Oracle President Safra Catz, in a statement.

"We believe that Sun will make a significant contribution to our fourth quarter earnings per share as well as meet the profitability goals we set for next year."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.