You can always count on Oracle
Ellison was at again last week, in an interview with Barron's (subscription required, but perhaps worth it just to see a pensive Larry in his yachting outfit). He talked at length about Oracle's prospects for a swift business upturn once corporations start spending on technology again. He also discussed Oracle's position relative to its peers and the controversial issue of his non-existent successor.
Ellison expects Oracle's business to rebound in a huge way once the IT market does. He's looking for 15% to 20% revenue growth following the IT spending revival, and that could yield "an explosion in profits." Schweet -- if it actually happens, that is.
Speaking about other software companies, Ellison had some choice words (and by "choice," we mean "rough"). He singled out Siebel
On the subject of no clear successor at Oracle, he said, "The most respected business executive of the second half of the 20th century, Jack Welch, never had a strong No. 2. Who is the president of the United States' strong No. 2? Who is the chairman of the joint chiefs' strong No. 2? No organizations have this strong No. 2."
Yes, they do. That comment's almost too funny to address seriously. Surely Ellison realizes that Mr. Cheney isn't just some no-name guy filling up space out at the Naval Observatory. And that General Richard Myers isn't working alone. Does Ellison need a 7th grade civics lesson?
Another beauty is his view of Oracle's valuation. And we quote: "We thought it was undervalued a couple of years ago, so what do we know? We certainly think it's undervalued now." Ahhhh, so encouraging.
Regardless of what he says, Larry Ellison is fun to listen to, and he makes following Oracle much more interesting than just your average software company. Whether or not his predictions and pronouncements come true, though, remains to be seen.