Oracle shares pop after earnings beat

Oracle reported fiscal third-quarter earnings on Wednesday that beat analysts' expectations as software revenue popped. But the company's overall sales fell slightly short of estimates.

-EPS: 69 cents, adjusted, vs. 62 cents expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate-Revenue: $9.21 billion vs. $9.255 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate

The company also raised its dividend to 19 cents, from 15 cents. Oracle shares rose more than 5 percent after hours.

"Our new, large, fast-growing, high-margin cloud businesses are driving Oracle's total revenue and earnings up," the company's co-CEO, Safra Catz, said in a statement.

In the quarter, cloud software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) revenue rose 73 percent.

Oracle is mounting a transition from its database business to cloud computing and SaaS. Total cloud revenues are now 13 percent of the company's total sales, up from 8 percent this time last year. The company agreed in the last year to acquire NetSuite, a pioneer in cloud computing, for $9.3 billion.

Still, Oracle's on-premise revenues make up 67 percent of the company's total revenues, down from 70 percent in the year-ago period.

The enterprise technology company has been battling companies like Salesforce to reach $10 billion in cloud services revenue. Amazon, meanwhile, dominates the cloud market.

But Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison and co-CEO Mark Hurd said that the company has some advantages over Amazon and Salesforce. Hurd said it is "just a matter of when" to pass Salesforce in cloud revenue.

(Salesforce said late last month that it expects to achieve its goal of being one of the first $10 billion cloud services companies in the next year with sales of $10.15 billion to $10.20 billion, "faster than any enterprise software company in history.")

"[N]ow our biggest customers can run their largest and most demanding Oracle database workloads in the Oracle Cloud – something that is absolutely impossible to do in the Amazon Cloud," Ellison said.

Correction: Salesforce discussed its outlook in late February. An earlier version misstated the timing.

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