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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oracle Beats Prophets




SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Corp. on Tuesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat estimates and defied predictions of a slowdown in software sales as corporations focused on year 2000 computer problems.


Analysts' expectations were dampened in September, when Oracle's first-quarter earnings just met estimates and revenue growth fell short. Oracle executives, at the time citing a seasonally weak quarter and a few big sales that slipped past the closing date, predicted a strong year. Today's results were sweet vindication for them.


"This was the Y2K quarter, and I expected it to be tough,'' said William Epifanio, an analyst with J.P. Morgan. Oracle's database and big applications like accounting and human resources, he said, are exactly the kind of software purchases that analysts had expected corporations to defer.


"They defied Y2K,'' he said, "and I think from this point forward we can expect even better performance. With everything happening in e-commerce, the market is moving in Oracle's direction.''