Oracle makes half-billion dollar profit in Q1

Oracle makes half-billion dollar profit in Q1

Oracle said net income for its first fiscal quarter more than doubled from a year ago, driven by healthy sales of its database and applications software products. The company also announced a two-for-one stock split, its second this year.

Net income for the first quarter, which ended August 31, increased 111 per cent to $501 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $237 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago. The per-share figure topped analysts' estimates by a full 4 cents, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

First quarter revenue grew to $2.26 billion, up from $1.98 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 1999, Oracle said. Of that, database software sales grew 32 per cent, to $585 million, while application software sales increased 42 per cent, to $156 million, Oracle said.

"We are off to our fastest start in six years," Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. "The spectacular growth in our database business demonstrates that we are continuing to take market share from IBM and Microsoft," he claimed.

The stock split will entitle each shareholder of record on September 25, to receive one additional share for every share of Oracle common stock they hold. Shares resulting from the split will be worth half the value of pre-split shares, and be distributed Oct. 12, 2000, Oracle said.

Oracle said this is its 10th stock-split since its initial public offering (IPO) in March 1986. It announced a two-for-one split earlier this year, on January 19.

During the quarter, Oracle's operating margin improved by 11.7 per cent, from 17.4 per cent a year ago to 29.1 per cent this year, Jeff Henley, Oracle's chief financial officer, said.

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