The science fiction reality
Oracle profits beat expectations
The Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, California (AP/Paul Sakuma)
Oracle's latest quarterly earnings have climbed by 8%, beating analysts' expectations.
The business software maker surprised investors by releasing the results on Monday. The fiscal fourth-quarter report had been scheduled to come out on Thursday.
Oracle did not give a reason for the change of plans.
The numbers came out after several analysts published notes reporting that Oracle's top sales executive, Keith Block, may be leaving the company as part of a reorganisation. Oracle did not respond to requests for comment about Mr Block's status.
The company earned 3.45 billion US dollars (£2.2 billion), or 69 cents per share, for the three months ending in May. That compared to income of 3.2 billion dollars (£2 billion), or 62 cents per share, at the same time last year.
If not for items unrelated to its ongoing business, Oracle says it would have earned 82 cents per share. On that basis, Oracle exceeded the average estimate of 78 cents per share held among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Revenue edged up 1% from last year to 10.9 billion dollars (£6.95 billion), slightly higher than analyst projections.
If not for a stronger dollar, which hurt its results outside the US, Oracle said its revenue would have increase by 5% from the same time last year.
Monday's report delivered another piece of heartening news for investors. Oracle intends to spend an additional 10 billion dollars (£6.37 billion) buying back its own stock, a move that could help boost earnings per share in future quarters.
Oracle shares gained 87 cents, or more than 3%, to 27.99 dollars (£17.84) in extended trading. The stock had dropped 58 cents during Monday's regular session, as investors reacted to the reports of a possible shake-up on Oracle's North American sales team.