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Oracle's Strength Fails to Stir Street

The stock dipped after Monday's close after the software outfit reported a 21% jump in net income and said it's gaining market share

Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL) said late Dec. 18 that it had stronger profit during the quarter ended Nov. 30, as the Redwood Shores, Calif. company sells more software and technology services.

Oracle's net income under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) surged 21% to $967 million compared to the same quarter last year.

Total GAAP revenues were up 26% to $4.16 billion year over year. The mean analyst estimate had been for $4.15 billion, according to the San Francisco research firm StarMine, which aggregates data from Thomson Financial.

"We delivered strong top line revenue growth along with solid earnings for the second quarter," said Oracle CFO Safra Catz in a press release.

The company crowed about inroads made against its competitiors. "We continue to gain market share in applications from SAP (SAP), in middleware from BEA (BEAS), and in database from IBM (IBM)," said Oracle president Charles Phillips.

Total GAAP software revenues were up 23% to $3.2 billion year over year, with sales of database and middleware (software for putting together applications) up 9%. Applications new license revenues gained 28%. Services revenues were up 41% to $949 million.

Investors bid up Oracle's stock 1.3% to $17.91 per share near on the Nasdaq Dec. 18. But the stock price fell more than 2% in after-hours trading Dec. 18.

But 2006 has proven to be a good year overall for Oracle investors, as the shares trade well above the low of just over $12 a share reached earlier this year.

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