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No sales no gains as Oracle misses Q3 targets

22 Mar 2013

Oracle has blamed an expanding salesforce for a pretty big miss in third-quarter software sales, suggesting a resounding boost during Q4.

To say the software maker, currently positioned as the wold's third largest, was unhappy with the results would be an understatement, but the logical explanation suggests all will be well during the next quarter.

Not that industry analysts or Wall Street traders gave it the benefit of the doubt however.

Kick-starting a drop in stock, shares fell 8.2% at $32.83 during midday trading in New York, but Oracle appear unfazed.

"What we really saw was the lack of urgency we sometimes see in the sales force, as Q3 deals fall into Q4," said Safra Catz, chief financial officer, Oracle.

"Since we've been adding literally thousands of new sales reps around the world, the problem was largely sales execution, especially with the new reps as they ran out of runway in Q3."

Common knowledge would suggest Oracle are now in for a strong fourth-quarter, with deals seeming to cross over from the third. But with a dramatic fall in the company's hardware division, maybe not.

Revenue fell US$671m from $869m in the year-ago quarter, contributing to the company's worst forecast miss since November 2011.

Panicking or even worrying is not on Oracle's agenda however, the lack of execution in sales is of course a blow but reasons to be optimistic appear aplenty for the firm.

But the company, which recently opened a second datacentre in Australia, must be aware that anything other than strong fourth-quarter results would have the industry thinking - what were you guys on about during Q3?

Should Oracle be worried? Is it just a small speed bump? Tell us your thoughts below

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