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Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) may not have reached all the sales goals at which it aimed, but the fiscal Q2 2012 earnings report it delivered Dec. 20 still had to be satisfactory for itself and shareholders.

Generally, the company did well in its software and services businesses but lost some ground on the hardware side.

The full-service IT provider’s total revenues improved 2 percent to $8.8 billion on the quarter, with new software license revenues up 2 percent to $2 billion. Software license updates and product support revenues were up 9 percent to $4 billion.

However, hardware systems products revenues were down 14 percent to $953 million. Operating income was up 12 percent to $3.1 billion, and its operating margin was 35 percent.

"We sold 200 of either Exadata- or Exalogic-engineered systems in Q2, and we expect to sell 300 in Q3, and 400 in Q4," CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison said on the conference call to analysts and journalists. "When we get to that (400) level, this becomes a $1 billion business."

Exadata server systems, loaded with high-end Infiniband connectivity, typically sell for $1 million or more. Exalogic analytics servers are also as expensive, and with various types of analytics services now available for much less in the form of cloud delivery, some potential customers may have been turned off by that rich of an investment.

Oracle President Mark Hurd said on the call that Oracle has hired "a net number" of about 1,700 more sales professionals in the first half of this fiscal year to help sell the company’s new Fusion Cloud applications, including CRM and ERP, as well as its servers and storage.

Oracle stock price was down about 9 percent at $26.49 in after-hours trading following the report. The stock had closed at $29.17.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Oracle Posts Modest Earnings Gains in Q2 2012