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Oracle sales flat, lifts dividend; shares rise

March 17
6:30 PM 2015

Oracle Corp posted flat third-quarter revenue and slightly lower profit as the U.S. dollar strengthened, but the business software maker on Tuesday raised its quarterly dividend 25 percent to 15 cents a share.

Shares of Oracle, often a barometer for the technology sector, initially fell but quickly rose 3.3 percent in after-hours trading to $43.20.

The database company reported sales of $9.3 billion, the same as the quarter a year ago. Oracle said revenue for the fiscal third quarter would have risen 6 percent without the impact of unfavorable currency rates.

Wall Street had expected $9.46 billion, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Although currency headwinds are massive for Oracle and its tech brethren, the company showed progress on the cloud front, which is key for tech investors moving forward," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets.

Oracle said its cloud-computing software and platform service revenue rose 30 percent to $372 million, an area keenly watched by investors as Oracle tries to migrate its business toward a remote, Internet-enabled model.

"Oracle came in pretty much in line in cloud; it may be a sigh of relief that things weren't as bad as we thought," said Daniel Morgan, an analyst at Synovus Trust Co, referring to other tech companies that have had trouble moving to the cloud. "Oracle's plan is still intact."

Oracle's net profit fell slightly to $2.49 billion from $2.56 billion in the year-ago quarter. Profit per share was unchanged at 56 cents, compared with analysts' average estimate of 55 cents.

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