Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ:ORCL), the largest database developer, reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that soared past estimates because of solid gains in license sales and cloud offerings.

The company said operating earnings were 64 cents a share, or $4.3 billion, as revenue rose 3 percent to $9.1 billion. Analysts had estimated the Redwood Shores, Calif., software giant would report operating earnings of only 61 cents a share.

Oracle's net income rose 18 percent tp $2.6 billion, or 53 cents a share, a 24 percent gain over 2011.

Co-president Safra Catz credited “strong organic growth” for the improved performance, while Chairman Larry Ellison hailed the 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems for enabling Oracle to enter the “highly profitable engineered management part of the software business.”

Ellison had been criticized repeatedly for the $5.6 billion Sun deal because it shifted Oracle's exclusive software focus to a mix of hardware and software.

The company repeated its plans to pay three quarters' worth of dividends on Friday, a so-called “accelerated dividend.” That should be easy, considering the company reported cash and investments rose to $33.6 billion on Nov. 30.

Shares of Oracle rose 2 percent after hours to $32.86. Including dividends, they've gained 12 percent this year.