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March 14 (Reuters) - Oracle Corp on Thursday forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates, blaming a strengthening dollar, sending the business software maker's shares down 4 percent in extended trade.
The disappointing outlook overshadowed the company's better-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue beat that was driven by growth in its cloud services and license support unit.
The company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue in U.S. dollars to drop 2 percent or remain flat, the midpoint of which falls below analysts' expectations of $11.15 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
"I expect the strengthening U.S. dollar will continue with a currency headwind of 3 percent for Q4 revenue and a $0.03 headwind to earnings per share," Co-Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz said on a conference call.
Oracle has been aggressively pushing into cloud computing to make up for a late entry to the fast-growing business that helps companies move away from the traditional and costlier on-premise model.
The company has successfully moved some of its existing customers such as U.S. wireless carrier AT&T Inc to its cloud services.
Its cloud software services revenue expanded 27.9 percent in the calendar fourth quarter, compared with the industry's 21.5 percent growth, according to market research firm Canalys.
Oracle's revenue from cloud services and license support, its biggest, rose 1 percent to $6.66 billion in the fiscal third quarter.
The company posted net income of $2.75 billion, or 76 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 28, compared with a net loss of $4.05 billion, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier. It recorded a $6.9 billion charge in the year-ago quarter due to the U.S. tax reform.
Total revenue dipped 0.6 percent to $9.61 billion, but beat analysts' average estimate of $9.59 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Excluding items, the company earned 87 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 84 cents per share.
The company's shares, down at $51.25 in after-hours trade, have risen nearly 18 percent this year, roughly in line with gains for rivals such as Workday Inc and Salesforce.com Inc. (Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel)