Oracle Quietly Announces Q1 Profit - 2

Oracle Corp. late Thursday quietly issued a marginally successful earnings report for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2002.

In a press release posted on the Oracle Web site, Larry Ellison, Oracles normally brash CEO, said that in the wake of Tuesdays terrorist attack on the United States, the Redwood Shores, Calif., company has planned to release its earnings without elaboration.

The database and enterprise applications developer reported income of $511 million on revenue of $2.2 billion for the quarter that ended Aug. 31.

Diluted earnings per share increased to 9 cents, compared with 8 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago, while basic earnings per share remained unchanged at 9 cents per share for the same period this year over last.

That performance bested the consensus estimates by Wall Street analysts of 8 cents per share earnings posted earlier this week by research firm Thompson Financial/First Call.

Oracles operating margins increased 4 percent this quarter over last, from 29 percent in Q1 00 to 33 percent in Q1 01.

License revenues decreased by nearly $76,000 to $731,432 in the first fiscal quarter of 2002 from $807,238 in Q1 01. Likewise, total revenues dropped to $2,242,045 in the August quarter, from $2,261,875 in the first quarter of fiscal 2001.

Oracle has "a history of beating the estimates," said Charles Hill, research director at Thomson Financial/First Call, in Boston. "The year before they matched two [quarters expectations] and beat one. Yes, its good, the fact that they beat the estimate. But its not that unusual for them to do that."

Hill said that Thomson Financial is not getting a lot of feedback from analysts on Oracles earnings release this week because of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. "From those that we did hear from today -– three out of 32 -– two left their [earnings per share] numbers unchanged; another did lower their numbers by a penny. But they were the second highest estimate of the 32, someone finally catching up with the pack."

Oracle has seven people missing in what remains of the World Trade Center and one person lost on United Flight 93.

"Our heart goes out to all of the families who have lost loved ones. We pray more survivors will be found," said Ellison, in the release. He went on to say that the companys energies are now focused on helping governmental agencies - relief, law enforcement, intelligence and military - respond to the tragedy.

"Our people, computers and facilities are being retasked to help these agencies re-establish systems that have been interrupted by the attack," said Ellison in the statement.

Oracle will host its regularly scheduled quarter-ending conference call at the close of the market on Monday, when the New York Stock Exchange is expected to reopen.