Oracle does better than anyone could have expected

Maker of mega-databases, Oracle, managed to do better than the cocaine nose jobs in Wall Street predicted.

New software sales came in at the high end of the company’s forecast, offsetting a sharp drop in hardware revenue.

Shareholders breathed a sigh of relief and the outfit’s stock rose 1.5 percent after the news. This was not the scene three months ago when Oracle’s second-quarter profit missed analysts’ forecasts for the first time in a decade.

Oracle thinks its new software sales this quarter will range from a two percent drop to growth of as much as eight percent, translating from $3.6 billion to almost $4 billion. All this is a sharp drop from the 19 percent increase in the fourth quarter of last year, but the outfit is still making money.

Oracle chief financial officer Safra Catz suggested in a conference call that the outlook may not be so dire. She said she had been conservative in calculating her forecast.

Oracle’s poisoned chalice is still the company’s hardware business. Analysts had expected hardware revenue of more than $1 billion as the company turned around the struggling division it got when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010.

Daniel Genter, president and chief investment officer of RNC Genter Capital Management told Reuters  that Oracle had made a significant turnaround and the only weak spot was the hardware. Hardware product sales fell 16 percent to $869 million. It had forecast a decline of between five and 15 percent.