In a move that surprised analysts, the world’s third-largest software provider reported its fourth-quarter results on Monday. They had been scheduled for a Thursday release.
Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) reported a fourth-quarter profit of $3.54 billion, up 8% from $3.2 billion during the same time last year. Adjusted EPS for the quarter was 82 cents. That topped analysts’ estimates of 78 cents, the Associated Press noted.
Fourth-quarter revenue increased 1% over the same time last year, hitting $10.9 billion, which also narrowly bested analysts’ forecasts.
Oracle noted that a stronger dollar hurt its international revenues. Adjusting for that, revenue would have risen 5%, and software licensing revenue would have increased 11%, compared to the prior year. The company said it expects licensing revenue during the current quarter to range from a 1% decrease to a 9% increase compared to last year.
Oracle also said it planned to repurchase $10 billion of its shares.
The early release of fourth-quarter results may have been meant to head off publicity resulting from the departure of Keith Block, head of Oracle’s North American sales. Analysts cited by the CNBC said Block’s departure likely resulted from negative comments he made regarding Oracle’s Sun Microsystems unit and Oracle President Mark Hurd that were reported in the press.
Oracle shares rose more than 3% in early Tuesday trading.