Oracle Corp. reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, buoyed by strong cloud sales and increased corporate demand for information technology. Shares rose about 10 per cent in extended trading.

Sales increased 5.7 per cent to US$10.4 billion in the fiscal second quarter, the Austin, Texas-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts, on average, projected US$10.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, excluding some items, was US$1.21 a share, compared with the average estimate of US$1.11 per share.

The results add momentum for Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker by revenue, which has tried for years to expand its cloud computing business and close a big gap in market share to Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp. The revenue gains marked the sixth straight quarter of year-over-year sales increases for the company.

“These strong results are being driven by the 22 per cent growth of our infrastructure and applications cloud businesses, which are approaching US$11 billion in annualized revenue,” Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz said in the statement. 

Catz gave forecasts for revenue and profit suggesting the company is on a similar path in the current period. Fiscal third-quarter earnings will be US$1.14 to US$1.18 a share, in line with analysts’ estimates. Revenue will increase 3 per cent to 5 per cent, she said during a conference call after the results. Analysts’ projected 5 per cent growth to US$10.6 billion. 

In the second quarter, revenue from cloud services and license support increased 6 per cent to US$7.55 billion, topping analysts’ estimates of US$7.52 billion. That metric includes sales from hosting customers’ data in the cloud, but a large portion is generated by maintenance fees for traditional software kept on clients’ corporate servers.

Cloud license and on-premise license sales gained 13 per cent to US$1.24 billion in the period ended Nov. 30. Analysts had expected US$1.1 billion.

Notably, sales of Fusion and NetSuite -- its two enterprise resource planning, or ERP, products -- increased 35 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively. That business is critically important to Oracle’s future growth. Most companies are unlikely to change an ERP system, which is made up of complex programs that touch on many different areas of a business, as easily as narrower applications, like software to manage personnel.

“That’s where they want to see their growth,” said Trevor White, research manager at Nucleus Research Inc. It “allows Oracle a strong opportunity to cross-sell into other areas.”

Shares jumped to a high of US$98.70 in extended trading after closing at US$88.77 in New York. The stock has climbed 37 per cent this year.

Oracle also said it increased the authorization for its share buyback program by US$10 billion.