Ahead of the Bell: Strong results boost Oracle

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 8:51 AM

Shares of Oracle Corp. rose in premarket trading Friday as the company's quarterly results offered hope that businesses are starting to spend on technology again.

Oracle, the world's biggest provider of database software, also calmed some worries about its deal to acquire Sun Microsystems Inc., saying it expects the European Union to finally approve the $7.4 billion deal next month.

Shares jumped 97 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $23.85 ahead of regular trading.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Ross MacMillan, who recommends investors buy the company's shares, told investors in a note Friday that Oracle's latest results "showed us that enterprise IT spending is picking up nicely."

He raised his price target for Oracle's stock to $27 from $26.

Oracle, which is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., said earnings for its fiscal second quarter jumped 12.5 percent. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $5.9 billion, which topped the average analyst forecast of $5.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.