Oracle delay singes Sun Micro sales

Lower operating expenses helped Sun Microsystems curb its fiscal first quarter loss to $120 million, compared with $1.68 billion, a year earlier, according to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission. But revenue fell to $2.24 billion from $2.99 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, and was lower than the average analyst estimate of $2.34 billion.

The 25 per cent drop was also steeper than the sales slump at other technology companies. Oracle’s total revenue last quarter fell 5 per cent from a year earlier, while chipmaker Intel Corp’s revenue fell 7.8 per cent.

“Our first quarter of fiscal year 2010 results continued to be affected by the economic downturn, the uncertainty associated with our proposed acquisition by Oracle, increased competition and delays in customer purchasing decisions,” Sun said in a statement. Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison recently said that Sun is losing about $100 million a month because of uncertainty about its future, as European antitrust regulators pursue an in-depth probe of the deal.

Sun sold itself to Oracle after several years of failed attempts to devise a strategy to turn itself around. A sale to Oracle was seen as a way to transform Sun into a diversified technology company selling computers alongside Oracle’s software.

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