Sun Microsystems' profit report offers glimpse of what's in store for Oracle

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Sun Microsystems (JAVA), the company that invented the Java programming language, reported what could be one of its last earnings reports as an independent company Tuesday. Earlier this month, after deal talks collapsed with IBM, Sun agreed to be acquired by information technology company Oracle (ORCL) in a deal valued at $7.4 billion.

The struggling server and software maker reported a net loss of $201 million, or 27 cents per share for the fiscal third quarter, while revenue fell to $2.61 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast that Sun would lose 18 cents per share on $2.87 billion in sales.

The news certainly gives Oracle shareholders something to ponder as the company seeks to continue building itself through acquisitions. Oracle sees opportunity in Sun, based on the company's JAVA programming language, Solaris operating system and MySQL database. But Sun's sales have been hammered during the recession as financial services customers disappear or cut their spending.

Analysts say the deal would transform the computing industry, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison agrees. "The acquisition of Sun transforms the IT industry, combining best-in-class enterprise software and mission-critical computing systems," Ellison said in a press release. "Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system – applications to disk – where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves."

Some of Oracle's purchases over the past 5 years include BEA Systems, Agile Software, Hyperion Solutions, Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft. The Sun-Oracle tie-up is expected to close this summer, pending approval from Sun shareholders and other closing conditions.
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