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Investing decisions are made from a mosaic of data, yet synthesizing what matters can be tough. Enter the Fool poll. We show you the Big Headlines, you tell us what's factoring into your investing decisions and help your fellow Fools in the process.
Shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL ) are trading more than 3% higher today after reporting better than expected third-quarter results last night. Revenue soared 37% to $8.76 billion. Non-GAAP profits improved to $0.54 a share. Analysts were expecting $8.67 billion and $0.50 a share, respectively.
Sun helped drive the gains. The company's $7.4 billion purchase of the one-time server superstar has helped Oracle to create a thriving hardware business. Revenue related to sales of its Exadata database appliance and Exalogic cloud-computing appliance more than tripled year-over year. Overall, hardware accounted for 19% of Q3 revenue.
The strong performance elicited the usual jabs from management. Company co-president Safra Catz said during last night's earnings call that if Oracle paid the same sort of multiple for Sun that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) paid for 3PAR, it would've cost close to $140 billion. "Don't worry, we wouldn't do that," Catz needled.
She's right; Oracle doesn't need that sort of purchase. With revenue and profit both up more than 35% over the past year, the database king is growing faster than IBM (NYSE: IBM ) , HP, and SAP (NYSE: SAP ) . Of the megacap techies, only Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) is growing faster.
But is Apple the better deal? Maybe, but the gap is narrowing. A 20% increase in the company's quarterly dividend payment, to $0.06 a share, makes this the rare tech stock that offers both massive earnings growth and outrageous dividend growth. Oracle could very well be the best tech stock to buy now.
Do you agree? Disagree? Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to tell us which tech stock you're buying now. You can also rate Oracle in Motley Fool CAPS and keep tabs on the company by adding the stock to your watchlist for free, personalized stock trackin