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Oracle profit rises 21 percent in second quarter

Results follow six months of strength for the stock on increased confidence in its strategy of expanding through acquisitions.

Oracle on Monday posted a 21 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by sales of business software licenses to the customers of acquired rivals like Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft.

Net income for the fiscal second quarter rose to $967 million, or 18 cents per share, from $798 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 26 percent to $4.2 billion.

Excluding items, the company posted a per-share profit of 22 cents. Analysts on average were expecting the world's biggest database software maker to post a per-share profit before items of 22 cents on revenue of $4.16 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Oracle shares fell 1.4 percent in extended trade from a Nasdaq close of $17.91.

The results follow six months of strength for the stock on increased confidence in its decision to spend about $20 billion buying up rivals over the past three years to push into the business applications market as its core database software market matures.

Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is betting the company will win more customers for its databases as it gains traction in the market dominated by Germany's SAP for business software applications that help companies automate everything from human resources to accounting to payroll.

Revenue from new software applications licenses rose 28 percent to $340 million while sales of its database products climbed 9.5 percent to $867 million, in line with the average Wall Street estimate.

Oracle shares have gained about 32 percent since June 15, when the company first told investors of stronger-than-expected software license revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter. At the same time SAP shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange have gained about 3 percent.