For enterprise software vendors, the calendar year that was 2008 has mercifully closed. But now comes the difficult part: vendors announcing their Q4 earnings, a period in which the global economy imploded and companies’ desire for large ERP, CRM, BI and supply chain projects plummeted.
So in the sprit of their ultra-competitive natures, let’s stack the two giants’ most recent quarters up against one another in a head-to-head balance-sheet battle, as well as examine the outlook for the rest of 2009. (Two things to note: Oracle’s fiscal year ends during the summer, while SAP’s at the end of calendar year, so I’m actually looking at Oracle’s Q2 FY 2009 numbers vs. SAP’s Q4 FY 2008 numbers; “Change” compares the most recent quarter to the quarter the year previous.)
Total Revenues / Change
Oracle: $5.6B / +6%
SAP: $4.5B / +8% Software Revenues / Change
Oracle: $4.5B / +7%
SAP: $1.7B / -7% Net Income / Change
Oracle: $1.29B / -0.5%
SAP: $1.1B / +13% Total Operating Margins / Change
Oracle: 35% / +1 percentage point
SAP: 37% / +2 percentage points Executive Quote on Results
Oracle: CEO Larry Ellison takes a shot at competition: “This quarter was conspicuous in a series of competitive wins against Salesforce.com.” And hints at more acquisitions: Looking at a “potential opportunity for large acquisitions, if the price is right.”
SAP: Co-CEO Leo Apotheker: “It could have been the best year in SAP’s history, but since September we have been talking about a new reality in the world’s economy. Our main focus is reducing operating costs.”
Oracle: It does 55 percent of its business outside the U.S. That’s important because any sizable currency fluctuations directly impacts Oracle’s coffers. In fact, the strengthening U.S. dollar cost the company about $0.03 per share in earnings in the most recent quarter.