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UPDATE 2-Oracle's cloud push powers quarterly profit, revenue beat

Neha Malara

(Adds CEO, analyst comments)

March 12 (Reuters) - Growth in cloud business helped Oracle Corp top quarterly profit and revenue on Thursday and said the coronavirus will have "minimal impact" on the fourth-quarter revenue, which is usually skewed toward software licenses rather than hardware. "We expect minimal impact from the virus in the quarter, given that much of the subscription revenue is already contracted," Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz said on an earnings call with investors.

The business software maker's cloud services and license support unit, which accounts for more than half of its revenue, grew 4% to $6.93 billion in the third quarter.

Oracle has been trying catch up with rivals such as Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in cloud business that helps companies save cost by renting data centers rather than owning them.

"It was the February quarter, so we didn't see the full impact of coronavirus but it is encouraging to see that there doesn't seem to have been a lot of impact so far," said Michael Turits from brokerage Raymond James.

Oracle said last month it added new data centers in five countries and plans to add 36 locations by the end of the year.

Total revenue rose nearly 2% to $9.8 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $9.75 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell to $2.57 billion in the quarter ended Feb. 29, from $2.75 billion. But on a per share basis, it rose to 79 cents per share from 76 cents a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the Redwood, California-based company earned 97 cents per share, a cent above expectations.

The company's shares were up 3% to $41 in extended trading. (Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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