By Patrick Thomas
Oracle Corp. reported a 1% decline in revenue for its latest quarter, a smaller drop than what Wall Street had been expecting, as the software giant's cloud-services business slightly outperformed.
For its fiscal third quarter, the Redwood City, Calif., software giant reported a profit of $2.75 billion, or 76 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $4.05 billion, or 98 cents a share, that was due to a one-time tax charge of $6.9 billion.
Excluding one-time items, the company posted a profit of 87 cents a share. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting adjusted earnings of 84 cents a share. Total operating expenses for Oracle fell 2% from a year ago.
Revenue slipped 1% to $9.61 billion from $9.68 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $9.59 billion of revenue in the quarter.
The company said cloud-service and license-support revenue -- Oracle's largest segment -- grew 1% to $6.66 billion, above the $6.64 billion analysts had anticipated. Oracle changed how it reports its quarterly financial results last year, mixing its cloud-computing business with its licensing-support business.
Oracle was slower than some of its rivals to develop cloud-computing technology, services customers rent on demand over the web. It is aggressively building services now to compete with cloud-infrastructure leaders Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Oracle is building 12 new data-center "regions" to deliver cloud-infrastructure services, in which businesses rent online computing and storage.
Oracle declared a quarterly dividend of 24 cents per share, a 26% increase over the current quarterly dividend of 19 cents.
Write to Patrick Thomas at Patrick.Thomas@wsj.com