Today: Oracle (ORCL) posts disappointing earnings results, missing analysts' expectations for revenues and profits and its own hopes for cloud adoption. Also: Model N is Silicon Valley's latest IPO success, and Wall Street gets back to gains.

Oracle slumps: 'We're not at all pleased'

Oracle's third-quarter results disappointed analysts, investors and even the company itself, as new software sales decreased and the company's earnings and profits missed forecasts, sending the Redwood City company's stock down in late trading.

Oracle revenues in its fiscal third quarter totaled $9 billion, down 1 percent year-over-year and lower than the $9.38 billion average analyst forecast, according to Thomson Reuters. Profits were also short of forecasts, as adjusted earnings were 65 cents a share, with average analyst expectations of 66 cents.

"We're not at all pleased with our revenue growth," Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz said in Oracle's conference call Wednesday. She laid the blame for the poor quarter at the feet of the sales force, saying there was a "lack of urgency" as salespeople pushed third-quarter sales to the fourth quarter.

"We feel great about both our strategy and our product line," co-president Mark Hurd said on the conference call, also putting blame on execution in the sales department.


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The issue showed up the most in the company's sales of its cloud products, the focus of an intense campaign of expensive acquisitions. New software sales and cloud subscriptions decreased 2 percent in the quarter, when the company predicted in its previous earnings report that it would rise 3 percent to 13 percent during the three-month period.

Hardware sales also continued to be weak, which could be intertwined, with fewer hardware needs as companies move to cloud computing.

"As customers move to the cloud, you get a lot of the functionality consolidated up in the cloud and so you need less hardware and less databases and middleware," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle told Bloomberg News. He called the report "not good."

Downcast views of the report were common, with analysts contacted by Reuters calling it "a pretty big surprise," "weak," "a miss across the board," and "pretty sizeable miss."

After gaining 8 cents, or 0.21 percent, in regular trading, Oracle shares were down nearly 8 percent in after-hours trading.

Model N soars in Wall Street debut

While Silicon Valley's software behemoth had a rough day, another of the region's smaller players found initial success on Wall Street, with Redwood City's Model N raking in more than $100 million in an initial public offering before investors pushed its price more than 40 percent higher Wednesday.

The software company, which initially focused on the life-sciences industry but has expanded to other tech firms including Dell and VMware, focuses on revenue management, a relatively new field that encompasses functions played by disparate programs in the past.

"People manage revenues in spreadsheets, in homegrown systems, on pieces of paper, and manage this across different silos of the organization," founder and CEO Zack Rinat said. His company's offering instead "enables companies to optimize, automate and execute revenues" in a more streamlined manner.

The company was oversubscribed, finding more demand than it had shares to sell, and upped the price higher than its initial stated range of $12.50-$14.50 while venture firm Accel-KKR increased the number of shares it sold. In the end, Model N sold 6.74 million shares at $15.50 apiece, bringing in $104.5 million total, $93 million of which goes to the company.

Shares then exploded higher out of the gate after listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MODN on Wednesday, increasing as much as 43.6 percent before closing at $20.15, a gain of 30 percent from the IPO price.

"Silicon Valley grew over the decades by designing technology and software that made business, government and other organizations run better. Model N is precisely in that tradition," PrivCo founder and CEO Sam Hamadeh said of the offering, which he likes for its growth opportunity.

Silicon Valley IPOs have found increasing success in the past few months, including cleantech companies Silver Spring Networks and SolarCity, leading to a glut of upcoming offerings, with eight total IPOs expected this week. San Francisco's Marin Software is expected to follow Model N to market, with pricing Thursday night and a Friday debut; for live coverage of Marin's IPO, go to www.sv.com.

Markets bounce back after reassuring words from Fed

After Wall Street's record-breaking run ended with exhaustion-related losses, stock indexes headed back up Wednesday as the Federal Reserve announced that it will continue its program of keeping interest rates low and buying bonds to help the economy.

In Silicon Valley, stocks gained at a slower rate, with the SV150 increasing 0.4 percent, half the gain of the tech-heavy Nasdaq index. Continuing Apple (AAPL) weakness, which affects the smaller SV150 more, was a major factor, as the Cupertino tech giant dropped another 0.5 percent to $452.08 as eyes stayed on its cash hoard. Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) positive momentum hit a skid, as shares dropped 0.8 percent to $22.92 ahead of its contentious annual shareholders meeting, and Yahoo (YHOO) dropped 0.3 percent as it made an acquisition. Social media was also a weak point, with Zynga dropping 3.8 percent, Facebook falling 2.6 percent, and Yelp declining 0.7 percent.

On the positive side, Adobe (ADBE) gained 4.2 percent to $42.46 after its Tuesday earnings win, and eBay (EBAY) continued to gain after it changed sellers' fee structure, advancing 2.6 percent to $52.42. Green stocks also had a strong day, with SunPower (SPWRA) gaining 6.8 percent, SolarCity advancing 2.3 percent and Tesla increasing 2.5 percent.

Silicon Valley tech stocks

Up: Google (GOOG), Oracle, Intel (INTC), Cisco (CSCO), eBay, Netflix (NFLX), LinkedIn

Down: Apple, HP, Yahoo, Facebook, Zynga

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 25.09, or 0.78 percent, to 3,254.19

The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Up 55.91, or 0.39 percent, to 14,511.73

And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Up 10.37, or 0.67 percent, to 1,558.71.

Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.