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Oracle earnings show profit for Sun

Sales were in line with expectations, but the software giant's profit got a boost from better-than-expected hardware sales.

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Oracle delivered a better-than-expected fourth quarter courtesy of strong hardware sales--notably an operating profit at Sun and strong sales of Exadata database machines.

The company reported earnings of $2.4 billion, or 46 cents a share, on revenue of $9.5 billion (statement, preview). Non-GAAP earnings were 60 cents a share, well ahead of the 54 cents a share expected by Wall Street. Sales were in line with expectations, but Oracle's profit got a boost from better-than-expected hardware sales.

Sun contributed about $400 million in non-GAAP operating income. You could call the performance Oracle's Sun miracle. In a statement, Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein said Sun had $1.2 billion in systems revenue. Oracle president Safra Catz said in a statement:

Now that Sun is profitable, we have increased confidence that we will meet or exceed our goal of Sun contributing $1.5 billion to non-GAAP operating income in FY2011, and $2.0 billion in FY2012.

Read more of "Oracle: Sun profitable; Exadata sales pipeline nears $1 billion" at ZDNet's Between the Lines.