Pressing On Regardless

Oracle releases good earnings amidst bad news

Redwood Shores, CA  September 17, 2001  There are many disquieting aspects of life that must be dealt with following a tragedies on the scale of last week's terror attacks. Even though there's little enthusiasm for them, should sports events be held anyway, as a sign of America's resolve to go on with life, regardless of efforts to halt or disrupt that life? What about entertainment? Does Letterman give his Top 10, laughing in the face of suffering, and thereby giving a much-needed break from the weighty and depressing news that surrounds us, or are such efforts at levity rendered surreal and unsettling by the events of last week?

The business world must also make hard decisions. Mergers, sales and changes have to be dealt with or shoved to the side. Earnings statements still have to be handled, even if bad statements run the risk of worsening a mood and good ones come at such an inopportune time that they seem unworthy of celebrating.

In the face of such conundrums, software firm Oracle managed to come to a Solomonic decision Friday. The company announced its Q1 results, but in a manner befitting the times. In a statement, the company said, In the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attack on the United States, Oracle Corporation is announcing its Q1 quarterly results without comment or elaboration. Oracle has seven people missing in the World Trade Center, and one person lost on United Flight 93. Our heart goes out to all of the families who have lost loved ones. We pray more survivors will be found.

Our efforts and energies are now focused on helping the agencies of our government  relief, law enforcement, intelligence and military  respond to this national emergency. Our people, computers and facilities are being retasked to help these agencies reestablish systems that have been interrupted by the attack.

Oracle recorded first quarter income of $511 million on revenue of $2.2 billion. Earnings per share increased to 9 cents compared with 8 cents in Q1 last year. Operating margins increased from 29 percent last year to 33 percent this year.