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Oracle's Acquisitions Boost Profits

  Mergers & Acquisitions  -   POSTED: 2007/03/20 22:07

Oracle shares surged ahead in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the software company reported a 35% jump in third-quarter profits, boosted by its new portfolio of acquisitions and licensing deals.

Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ) said strong sales of its applications, which helps businesses maximize efficiency and manage finances, raised earnings for the period that ended Feb.28, to $1.03 billion, or 20 cents per share, from $765 million, or 14 cents per share, for the corresponding period a year ago. On the continuing operations basis, Oracle reported 25 cents per share, solidly beating the Street consensus of 23 cents a share and the company’s December guidance.

The software maker’s shares were up 2.74%, 48 cents, to $18.03 during after-market trading on Tuesday.

After a lackluster second quarter, Oracle managed to secure a slew of new licensing contracts as consumers warmed up to the company’s acquisition strategy.

“There was a lot of consumers on the fence,” said Trip Chowdry, a software analyst for Global Equities Research, in an interview. “They wondered, 'Is Oracle putting enough muscle behind their acquisitions?' Clearly, Oracle has done a strong outreach program to alleviate consumer concerns.”

In a controversial shift in strategy, founder and chief executive officer, Larry Ellison started to gobble up boutique software outfits a few years ago. In three years, Oracle has acquired some 30 companies and put over $23 billion on the line. While it is the reigning database software maker, it is eager to grab market share from SAP (nyse: SAP - news - people ), the top business applications provider.


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