Oracle vs. SAP: Battle of the Fall 2009 Balance Sheets

A head-to-head examination of how the two software giants were able to increase net income during a global recession in which revenues plunged.

Everyone loves to pit Oracle and SAP against one another—including the executives of the two behemoths that sell ERP, CRM, BI and supply chain software.

Now that SAP just released its most recent quarterly revenues (Oracle did so about a month ago), now is as good a time as any to break down—in a head-to-head balance-sheet battle—just how each fared during the waning weeks of 2009's global economic recession (as CIO.com did when the recession was first wreaking havoc in January).

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In addition, we'll look at the top challenges facing each vendor now, and what the "safe harbor" outlook for the rest of 2009 is. (Two things to note: Oracle's and SAP's fiscal years don't run on the same calendar periods. So I'm actually looking at Oracle's Q1 FY 2010 numbers vs. SAP's Q3 FY 2009 numbers. "Change" compares the most recent quarter's GAAP results to the quarter the year previous.)

Total Revenues / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$5.1B / -5%
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$3.6B / -9%

Net Income / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$1.1B / +4%
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$645M / +12%

Total Operating Margins / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

35% / +5 percentage points
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24% / +2 percentage points

Software Revenues / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$1B / -17%
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$779M / -31%

Service & Support Revenues / Change

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

$3.1B / +6%
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$1.9B / -3%

Earnings Conference Call Quote

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

Oracle President Charles Phillips : "I think we are definitely taking share from SAP in the Americas and even in Europe, to some extent. They don't have a vertical strategy...."
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SAP CEO Leo Apotheker (alluding to Oracle Fusion Applications): "You're going to have put on your glasses to see Oracle in the rearview mirror. I don't think anything has changed."

The Maintenance Problem

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

"A lot of customers are getting concessions in maintenance contracts from both these companies [Oracle and SAP]." -Ray Wang, an analyst with Altimeter Group, to the Dow Jones
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"The Siemens negotiation may be a harbinger of change: Maintenance (revenues) may no longer be an entitlement." -Patrick Walravens, JMP Securities analyst, in a research note

Big, Scary Numbers to Consider

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

GAAP operating cash flow on a trailing 12-month basis: $8.8 billion.
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Consulting revenue dropped 22 percent and training revenue plunged 43 percent quarter-over-quarter.

"Forward-Looking" Statements

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

"No one is sticking their neck out on the forecasts in any region right now, so I think the pipelines have been scrubbed," said Oracle's Phillips.
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Revenue declines from software and software-related services will continue, and may accelerate, for the rest of 2009, execs said.

Nagging Questions

Oracle

EDGE

SAP

Fusion Apps has got buzz—now what? What's the status with that Sun deal? Will Oracle ever settle TomorrowNow lawsuit with SAP?
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Is the Siemens maintenance flap going to have long-term consequences? How will they monetize Business ByDesign? Tomorrow-who?

Table by Thomas Wailgum

Do you Tweet? Follow me on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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