Oracle's mess: Sun loses $147 million in latest quarter

Sun Microsystems (JAVA) filed its last 10-K as a public company. Oracle (ORCL) will probably close its deal to buy the server company as early as next week.

The figures from the document show what a mess Sun has become and raises the question of what kind of deal Oracle is getting.

The numbers for Sun's fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on June 30, were particularly bad -- as bad, if not worse, than Sun had telegraphed.

Revenue for the period was $2.265 billion compared to $3.78 billion in the same quarter a year ago -- a $1.5 billion decline. Sun's net loss was $147 million compared with a profit of $88 million in its fiscal fourth quarter last year. The numbers indicate that Oracle may be buying a bruised asset.

Oracle is paying $7.4 billion for Sun. Sun's revenue in its core server business dropped 36 percent last quarter. That leaves Oracle facing a situation where it will have to make extreme cost cuts or hope that the international server industry will make a quick rebound. Otherwise, its Sun purchase will have been a serious mistake.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.


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