Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison says the company added 5,000 new trials for its latest cloud database. Here's what that means

Larry EllisonOracle executive chairman and CTO Larry EllisonOracle

  • Despite a rough quarter characterized by layoffs, Oracle reported a solid Q4, beating Wall Streets expectations on both revenues and profits.
  • Chairman Larry Ellison says that the company has added over 5,000 new trials of the company's Autonomous Database this quarter.
  • A former Oracle salesperson tells Business Insider that there was a huge push for the sales team to get customers to try the database.
  • Those aren't paying cloud customers yet, but if interest in the new database remains high, it's a good sign.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Despite a rough quarter characterized by layoffs, Oracle reported a solid fiscal Q4, beating Wall Streets expectations on both revenues and profits.

Oracle reported adjusted earnings of $1.16 per share, beating estimates by 9 cents. It reported revenue of $11.1 billion, beating estimates by $186 million, and up 1% over the year-ago quarter.

For the year, Oracle reported total revenue of $39.5 billion flat over the year ago revenue and GAAP earnings per share of $2.97, up 251% over FY 2018 EPS of 85 cents.

The highlight of the quarter was Oracle's software cloud sales. Oracle's cloud version of its enterprise resource management apps, known as Fusion ERP, and its HR apps, known as Human Capital Management (HCM) grew, collectively 32% in FY19, Mark Hurd, one of Oracle's co-CEOs said. And its acquired cloud NetSuite, which offers similar apps but is used by small and mid-sized businesses, grew 32% this year, Hurd said.

Read: Oracle revoked job offers for some people in the UK, blaming a hiring freeze. Yet it says it's both hiring and still restructuring.

Oracle's other co-CEO, Safra Catz said a boost in operating income drove EPS higher than she had predicted (although Oracle also frequently beats its EPS predictions).

She said the company is growing its high-margin cloud applications businesses quickly and "downsizing our low-margin legacy hardware business. The net result of this shift away from commodity hardware to cloud applications was a Q4 non-GAAP operating margin of 47%, the highest we've seen in five years."

Oracle's ever shrinking hardware business was down 11% this quarter to $994 million.

Another bright spot: Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison says that the company has added over 5,000 new trials of the company's Autonomous Database this quarter.

That's Oracle's fancy new cloud database that the company hopes will bring its customers into its own cloud and not go to a competitor like Amazon Web Services.

The trials are not paying customers, a former Oracle sales person tell Business Insider. They are databases from companies which have agreed to try the new database, often for a month. This person said that Oracle was really pushing its sales people all year to get customers to agree to a database trial. So while trials are not a revenue-generating market for the company yet, they could be a promising sign.

Oracle also hasn't publicly discussed its restructuring which began in March, except to acknowledge that it was laying people off. The latest reports are that Oracle cut jobs this week in Israel.

The one spot that acknowledges these layoffs are the costs associated with restructuring. Those were up 108% over the year ago quarter to $168 million.

Oracle had previously said it allotted $432 million to its 2019 restructuring plan. In this preliminary quarterly report, the company says it has so far spent $443 million on restructuring.

The silver lining for Oracle's employees is that its 2019 restructuring costs are less than the $588 million it spent on restructuring in 2018, this report says.

All told, investors are encouraged by Oracle's progress. The stock is up about 3% in after hours trading.

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