Oracle shares jump after profits beat expectations

Image caption Oracle now offers software and hardware with its acquisition of Sun Microsystems

US software-maker Oracle's shares jump more than 2% after it reported better-than-expected earnings in the last three months of the year.

The company reported a 37% jump in revenues to $8.8bn (£5.5bn), with net income rising 78%.

Oracle also set out a forecast for the current quarter ahead of most estimates and raised its dividend payment to shareholders by 20%.

Oracle is closely watched by analysts for trends in the technology industry.

New software license sales, which are a good gauge of future profits, jumped 29% to $2.2bn in the third quarter.

Oracle made net income for the quarter of $2.1bn up from $1.2bn a year earlier.

The company is in a battle with rivals IBM, Cisco Systems and HP to provide infrastructure for companies to move to "cloud computing" - the remote storage and handling of data.

Last year, Oracle diversified into server hardware with the purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Japan provides 5% of the company's revenues but Oracle executives told analysts they saw no material impact from the disruptions to production caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

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