You can always count on Oracle(Nasdaq: ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison to speak his mind (when he's not yachting, that is). The guy seems to have no internal filter. In a way, that's refreshing, given that many CEOs engage in more doublespeak than the most ardent politician. In another way, though, it creates off-the-cuff observations that end up being unintentionally humorous.

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(Nasdaq: SEBL) and I2 Technologies(Nasdaq: ITWO) as "dying." Others he dubbed as "vanishing" were Ariba(Nasdaq: ARBAE), Commerce One(Nasdaq: CMRC), and Manugistics(Nasdaq: MANU). The only vote of respect went to Germany's SAP, although BEA Systems(Nasdaq: BEAS) got some favorable words as a potentially attractive takeover target at cheaper prices.

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.