In a rare jump-the-gun earnings announcement, Oracle on June 18 took its good news to Wall Street and its investors three days earlier than scheduled, reporting that its fiscal Q4 2012 net income increased 8 percent to $3.5 billion, or 69 cents a share.
Thanks to the better-than-expected results, Oracle's shares moved higher in online trading after the bell. The stock had closed down 2 percent at $27.12 prior to the news announcement, but afterward it zoomed up 84 cents, equating to a 3 percent increase in after-hours trading.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $11 billion, compared to year-ago sales of $10.81 billion. New software license revenues rose 7 percent to $4 billion, as software license updates and support revenues rose 5 percent to $4.2 billion; hardware systems revenue fell 16 percent to $977 million.
Oracle had scheduled its earnings report for June 21.
Thomson Reuters analysts had predicted earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $10.89 billion. The company pointed to the relevance of its new Oracle Cloud to the future growth and profitability of Oracles software division.
"Our Oracle Cloud SAAS business is nearly at a billion-dollar revenue run rate, the same size as our engineered systems hardware business," Oracle Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Larry Ellison said in a statement.
"The combination of engineered systems and the Oracle Cloud will drive Oracle's growth in FY 2013."
Ellison had introduced the Oracle Cloud in a media event on the company's Redwood City campus on June 6.
The companys board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 6 cents a share to be paid Aug. 3. The board also authorized a share buy-back program of up to $10 billion in common stock.