Oracle's latest quarter packs a wallop

Oracle just reported its earnings for Q4 2006, and knocked the proverbial ball out of the park. In the land of the proprietary vendors, Oracle may well be king.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

I guess there's life in them old proprietary software bones yet. At least, there is for Oracle. As "cave men" go, Oracle is evolving very quickly, as Jason Maynard (Credit Suisse) notes:

Some of the key highlights from the call were 21% y/y cash flow growth, a re-acceleration of the technology business to 15% growth, and 46% operating margins in Q4. We think the vertical applications acquisition strategy is proving to be an effective tool to win both new accounts and pull through additional middleware and database products. Oracle appears to be gaining share in the application server market and continues to separate from its database competitors like IBM. Oracle?s Q1 guidance was also better than expected as the company expects new software license revenue to grow 20%-30% significantly ahead of our expectation of 10%+....

The strength in the quarter came across all regions and product lines. Technology product sales of $1.7B were ahead of our $1.6B estimate, and applications sales totaled $726M, compared to our estimate of $716M. The company experienced a diverse range of deal sizes in the quarter, and noted that middleware as well as database options continued to experience strong demand.

Oracle is clearly one of the big winners in consolidation, perhaps because it has been most aggressive. Of the BigCo's out there, it strikes me that Microsoft, Oracle, and Adobe are the best positioned to compete in the future, though each for very different reasons. It will be very interesting to see how the industry changes over the next few years....