Shares of software maker Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) rose nearly 2 percent in mid-day trading on Wednesday, following strong third quarter results.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based firm reported on Tuesday that income rose 27 percent over the previous quarter, hitting $4.41 billion. Analysts had widely expected sales of $4.33 billion.

Oracle said it would have earned 25 cents per share, excluding certain items, beating the 23 cent prediction from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. The quarter helped the company rebound from its weaker 2nd quarter, with strong momentum going into the next quarter.

Oracle executed well across its applications, middleware and database businesses, Needham analyst Richard Davis wrote in a note to clients. We believe the firm effectively eliminated the performance issues that hampered execution in Q2.

Safra Catz, Oracle's CFO, attributed the strength to strong software sales, closing deals which slipped from the previous quarter, and new software licensing deals. The company saw sales of middleware fueling its growth, while its core database product growth remained lackluster, however.

Recent acquisitions helped boost middleware sales. Earlier this month the firm bought Hyperion Solutions Corp., a maker of software used to track and report financial information. PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems were also acquired recently. Middleware license revenue was up 82 percent year-over-year, increasing from 60 percent in the second quarter.

Analysts from Goldman Sachs estimated core database license growth was up nearly 7 percent - better than the 3 percent seen in 2Q, but still behind Microsoft's SQL Server growth of 30 percent.

Oracle has a larger share of the database market, and we believe that its broad stack and its market leading vertical and analytic applications should help pull through more database technology revenue over time, commented Goldman's Christopher Sailer.

Shares of Oracle were up 1.99 percent, or 35 cents, to $17.90 in mid-day trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.