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Oracle Q4 Profits Up 25%

Oracle has reported that net income in the fiscal fourth quarter rose 25%, driven by higher revenue from databases and business software and hardware sales from the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

The technology company on Thursday said profits in the quarter that ended May 31 rose to $2.4 billion, or 46 cents a share, from $1.9 billion, or 38 cents a share, the same period a year ago. Revenue increased 39% to $9.5 billion from $6.9 billion a year ago.

Oracle said overall software revenue rose 13% year over year to $6.6 billion. New software licenses increased 14% to $3.1 billion. The latter number is significant because it's an indication that corporate customers are spending on new technology, and not just replacing aging software.

Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in January, contributed $1.8 billion in revenue from sales of computer hardware and support, giving Oracle's overall revenue number a significant boost. Based on generally accepted accounting principles, Sun reduced Oracle's operating income by $100 million. However, Sun contributed $400 million in non-GAAP operating income, which excludes a number of special charges.

While Sun as an independent company reported a loss during the same quarter a year ago, Oracle said the unit is now making money.

"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 (fiscal year 2011), and $2.0 billion in FY2012," Safra Catz, Oracle president, said in a statement.

Oracle's strong performance was released about a week after the federal government joined a lawsuit against Oracle. A former Oracle contract specialist filed the whistleblower suit on the government's behalf in May 2007.

The suit claims Oracle used a "scheme to defraud the United States by failing to disclose deep discounts" that it offered to its most favored commercial customers, which ultimately led to 10s of millions of dollars worth of the overcharges.