Tech titans beating forecasts despite dire consumer outlook

ORACLE last night posted quarterly revenue above expectations, defying a weak outlook for global technology spending, while Microsoft and Adobe also gave reasons for optimism in the sector.

Bellwether firm Oracle, which sells software to corporations and public agencies, reported revenue of $8.37bn (£5.32bn) in the three months to 31 August, up 12 per cent from $7.5bn in the same period last year. Net income came to $1.84bn, up 36 per cent.

New software sales, a gauge of future profit because they generate high-margin long-term service contracts, rose 17 per cent compared with expectations for 15 per cent.

Microsoft last night pledged to raise its quarterly dividend by 25 per cent, in a move that it hopes will satisfy investors clamouring for some of its $53bn cash pile. The raise was ahead of Wall Street expectations.

Meanwhile Adobe Systems allayed investor concerns over slowing sales in Europe as it forecast market-topping fourth-quarter revenue.

The company, which reported third-quarter revenue below expectations, projected sales of $1.08bn (£686m) to $1.13bn for the fourth quarter, ahead of the average forecast of $1.07bn.