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Santa Cruz Operation gains on pact with Compaq, Oracle

Santa Cruz Operation Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOC) shot up 1 11/16, or 13 percent, to a 52-week high of 8 15/16 Monday after announcing it will partner with Oracle and Compaq to offer packaged Internet database products through high-volume reseller channels.

SCO, which makes UNIX servers, hopes to target small and mid-sized businesses with this partnership.

SCO and Oracle launched a new program to penetrate the reseller channel with UnixWare 7 and Oracle8i, the industry's only Internet database, on Compaq ProLiant Servers. SCO has signed an agreement with Oracle to distribute Oracle8i evaluation software with SCO products as the newly created Database Starter Kit available from SCO. SCO, Oracle and Compaq are also providing joint development and marketing resources to ensure product time-to-market and product promotion.

"Our operating systems are known to excel in database environments," said Richard Treadway, vice president of Segment Marketing and Business Development at SCO, in a prepared release. "With this new program, we can now extend the reach of database solutions based on UnixWare 7 into enterprises of all sizes through a trained and certified network of resellers."

Last quarter, SCO earned $4.5 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $57 million.

Its shares fell to a low of 2 3/8 in September.

First Call consensus expects it to earn 13 cents a share in its fourth quarter and 44 cents a share in the fiscal year.

Both analysts following the stock maintain a "hold" recommendation on the stock.>