Oracle lowers earnings target due to weak sales in Asia

Database software giant Oracle lowered its third-quarter earnings forecast on Friday, citing weak sales in Asia as the main reason for the move.

Oracle now expects to post earnings per share of $US0.09 for its third quarter, which ended February 28. The Redwood Shores, California-based company had previously said that it expected to match last year's third-quarter figure of $0.10 per share. Slower than expected software sales caused the company to revise its estimate, according to a statement.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/ First Call had Oracle pegged to earn $0.10 per share for the period.

US and European markets appeared to be on the upswing compared to second-quarter sales, said Larry Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer at Oracle, in the statement. However, these gains were not enough to make up for a lacklustre software market in Asia. Oracle predicts the US will lead a gradual increase in capital spending worldwide.

The company is due to announce its third-quarter results on March 14.

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