Oracle's Q4 results show slow gains

Oracle Corp. pumped out US$855 million in net income for the fourth quarter ending May 31, or $0.15 earnings per share -- one cent above the consensus estimate of Thomson Financial/First Call. The company generated $3.3 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Oracle's net income plummeted 83 percent from last year's fourth quarter total of $4.9 billion. The company had $3.3 million in net investment gains in the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to $6.5 billion in last year's fourth quarter. Excluding investment gains, Oracle's net income in the fourth quarter of 2000 was $926 million, or $.31 per share. The company is expected to explain the difference in these figures during a conference call Monday afternoon.

For its entire fiscal year, Oracle's net income increased 25 percent to $2.6 billion or $0.44 per share. Oracle again edged out analysts' estimated of $0.43 earnings per share for the year. The company's revenue also increased 7 percent year-over-year to $11 billion.

Oracle officials cited a slowing economy as the reason for lackluster sales growth in the quarter, according to a statement. The company, however, remained confident that its product transition to the Oracle 9i application server and Oracle 9i database server will help in moving its bottom line forward.

Oracle did not immediately break down performance in the different areas of its business.

The company's conference call with press and analysts to discuss the financial results is slated for 2:30 p.m. PDT.

Shares of Oracle (ORCL) fell 1 percent on the day's trading to close at $14.84.

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