Oracle Earnings Down From Last Year’s

Oracle Earnings Down From Last Year’s

Matt Hicks

Oracle Corp. on Tuesday reported that its fourth quarter earnings dropped 23.3 percent from a year ago, as the company continued to face slack software sales.

For the quarter ended May 31, the Redwood Shores, Calif., software maker recorded a net income of $656 million on revenues of $2.8 billion. A year earlier, Oracle earned $855 million on revenues of $3.3 billion.

As Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison promised two weeks ago, the company met analysts’ expectations of earnings per share of 12 cents for the quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Henley, in a statement, noted that despite the worst recession he’s seen in 20 years, the company’s operating income margins reached record levels of 37 percent for the fiscal year 2002, which also ended on May 31.

“This management team proved it can preserve profits even when times are tough,” Henley said in the statement.

For the full fiscal year, Oracle recorded net income of $2.2 billion, or 39 cents a share, down 13.2 percent from fiscal year 2001. Revenues for the fiscal year were $9.7 billion, down 11.8 percent from a year earlier.

Oracle’s earnings were partially affected by an impairment charge of $173.5 million related to an investment in Liberate Technologies. Excluding that charge, Oracle said it would have had net income of $760 million, or 14 cents a share, for the fiscal fourth quarter. Fiscal year net income would have been $2.3 billion, or 41 cents per share, the company reported.

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