by Thomas Wailgum

Oracle Q1 Results: “I Love It When a Plan Comes Together”

Sep 17, 2010
Enterprise Applications

Does CEO Larry Ellison finally have his "A-Team" assembled? The explosive Q1 fiscal returns show that his plan is working.

In nearly every episode of “The A-Team,” the leader of the crack-commando group, Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, creates a plan that’s a bit unconventional, though it always works out for him in the end. Smith and his team members—Faceman Peck, H.M. Murdock and B.A. Baracus—face a constant slew of accusations for crimes that they may or may not have committed in past. Most people are generally wary of the A-Team guys, yet many of them rely exclusively on the A-Team. And then there’s the fact that the government is after this crew.

Sound like someone we all know?

Oracle A-Team

After delivering Oracle’s first quarter 2011 results, CEO Larry Ellison might be smoking a fat cigar with a big smirk on his face, just like Hannibal was known to do on the show: Ellison’s plan is indeed coming together.

The Q1 results charmed The Street with aplomb that would make Face envious: Revenue was up 48 percent, net income up 20 percent, and new software license revenue jumped 25 percent (all compared with the same quarter last year).

Ellison’s strategy has had doubters of late: The Sun acquisition, for one, has had its ups and downs; the wait for Fusion Apps has created some tension and unrest among customers; and the hiring of the latest addition to “The O-Team”—former HP CEO Mark Hurd—has gone about as smoothly as getting B.A. Baracus to board an airplane.

On the earnings call, new co-president Hurd showed a Larry-like lack of modesty as he made his presence known: “I don’t believe there is any other company in the industry better positioned than Oracle.” (He’ll fit in just nicely, methinks.)

And Fusion Apps will undoubtedly enjoy a coming-out party at the upcoming Oracle OpenWorld show.

As for Sun, according to an account of the earnings call, Ellison discussed Oracle’s primary goal for the troubled vendor’s products: All along, the mission was to make Sun’s hardware business profitable.

To which Ellison, no doubt with a grin, proclaimed to everyone listening: “Mission accomplished.”

That’s exactly what Hannibal would say.

Thomas Wailgum covers Enterprise Software, Data Management and Personal Productivity Apps for Follow him on Twitter @twailgum. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. E-mail Thomas at