Oracle announces layoffs as earnings fall

Oracle posted strong year-end financial results yesterday, at the same time cutting 325 jobs in what it said was a move to a more efficient electronic commerce method of operating.

"This is part of our plan to evolve into an e-business company," said Jennifer Glass, a company spokeswoman. "We want to achieve business efficiency that will reduce the need for a variety of jobs."

The move came as the company reported that year-end net income increased 35 percent to $US1.3 billion, or 87 cents per share, compared to net income of $955 million, or 64 cents per share, for fiscal year 1998, excluding one-time charges.

Oracle reported that revenue for the year ending May 31 grew 24 percent to $8.8 billion, compared to $7.1 billion in revenue last year.

For the fourth quarter, Oracle showed a 31 percent increase in net income to $527 million, or 36 cents per share, compared with net income of $403 million, or 27 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The quarterly earnings beat Wall Street expectations. A median estimate of 30 analysts polled by First Call predicted Oracle would report fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents per share.

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