Shares of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) jumped 3 percent Tuesday after the world's biggest maker of database software reported its fiscal third-quarter profit jumped 18 percent as new software license sales offset falling hardware sales.

The Redwood Shares, Calif., company, had profit of $2.5 billion, or 49 cents per share, compared with $2.12 billion, or 41 cents per share, in last year's fiscal third quarter.

Excluding one-time events, earnings per share were 62 cents. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected 56 cents.

Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 29 rose 3.1 percent to $9.1 billion from the year-earlier period, said Oracle, which has about 380,000 customers in 145 countries.

Sales of new software licenses rose 7 percent to $2.4 billion, within the company's guidance of an increase up to 10 percent down to flat for the quarter.

Hardware product sales plunged 16 percent to $869 million, more than the company's guidance of a 5 to 15 percent decline.

During the quarter, Oracle completed the $1.5 billion purchase of RightNow Technologies Inc., a cloud computing company. Such enterprises sell applications by subscription to an online service rather than via licensing and installing applications on individual computers.

Oracle also agreed during its fiscal third quarter to buy Taleo Corp., which makes online human resources software, for $1.9 billion.

Shares jumped in after-hours trading rose 25 cents to $30.48. In regular trading the stock gained 34 cents to $30.10.