Oracle, Accenture Deliver the Goods

The tech sector got some welcome news late Wednesday, when Oracle and Accenture delivered quarterly results that topped Wall Street forecasts.

Shares of both companies were trading higher after hours, but it remains to be seen whether the good news will be enough to boost a market buffeted by a global credit crunch.

Oracle’s November quarter sales were up 28% to $5.3 billion, well ahead of the $5 billion Thomson Financial consensus estimate, and earnings of 31 cents a share were four cents ahead of forecasts.

New software license revenues, an important indicator of future growth, were also strong, up 38%, Oracle’s best quarter in a decade. Database and middleware new license revenues were up 28% and applications new license revenues were up 63%.

The company also took pains to point out that it is outgrowing rivals SAP and IBM. Oracle also said it doesn’t think it can work out a deal to acquire BEA Systems.

Accenture, meanwhile, posted 19% sales growth to $5.67 billion and earnings of 60 cents a share, both better than expected, and the company raised guidance too.

Oracle shares were up 4% in late trading, and Accenture shares gained 3%.

The good news came after another volatile day for the stock market, which ended the day mixed on persistent credit market concerns.

Palm fell 7% on its second warning in a month, and Rambus shares were off 4.5% after lowering guidance.

AMD finally broke its losing streak, gaining 4%.

Sprint slipped 2% on a new CEO.

ADC telecom fell 13% on a $400 million debt offering.

Leap Wireless was up 18% on no apparent news.

The Nasdaq gained 5 to 2601, the S&P slipped 2 to 1453, and the Dow lost 25 to 13,207. Volume declined to 3.39 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by an 18-14 margin on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 43% on the NYSE, and 49% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 28-278 on the NYSE, and 55-249 on the Nasdaq.

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