Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), the No. 1 database developer, rose more than 3 percent in early Friday trading despite reporting first-quarter revenue that fell about $250 million shy of expectations, while matching earnings estimates.
Oracle closed at $32.47, up 21 cents, about steady with Thursday. For the year, shares have gained nearly 26 percent.
CEO Larry Ellison and other executives said they plan to announce major initiatives to tap the cloud at the Oracle World conference starting Sept. 30, with a particular emphasis on challenging International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), the No. 2 computer company, which Ellison said was his company’s biggest rival.
Ellison also cited Teradata (NYSE: TDC) as a major Oracle rival. “I think we have a better product than our competitors,” he said.
Co-President Mark Hurd also told investors the company expects sales of its big servers and storage products to rise in the current second quarter. He didn’t provide estimates.
Oracle reported operating income for the period ending Aug. 31 of 53 cents a share, as expected by analysts. Net income rose 11 percent to $2 billion, or 41 cents a share, as revenue eased 2.3 percent to $8.2 billion.
Part of the revenue drop was attributed to a new manner by which Oracle accounts for software sales. The company now announces new software licensing and cloud subscriptions rather than breaking out separate categories for databases, middleware and other products.
Jefferies analyst Ross MacMillan said there were “no surprises” in the report but said he was encouraged by management’s forecast for better license growth in the fourth quarter. He maintained his “hold” recommendation on the shares, with a target of $32.