Oracle Earnings Top Expectations; Shares Jump

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Oracle delivered an outlook and earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations on Tuesday as companies splurged on more software and other technology toward the end of the year.

After the earnings announcement, the software maker's shares ticked higher in trading after the closing bell. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Oracle.)

Oracle said it now expects fiscal third-quarter earnings to come in between 64 and 68 cents a share. Analysts currently expect 66 cents a share.

In a conference call following the earnings report, CEO Larry Ellison said the company expects to turn the corner on hardware revenue in the third quarter and that,in the fourth quarter, they expected growth amid improving margins.

Excluding items, earnings increased to $3.12 billion, or 64 cents per share, from $2.78 billion, or 54 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased 3.2 percent to $9.09 billion from $8.81 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 61 cents a share on $9.02 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The results announced Tuesday are an improvement from Oracle's previous quarter, when the company's revenue dipped slightly from a year earlier.

The latest quarter spanned September through November. That makes Oracle the first technology bellwether to provide insights into corporate spending since the Nov. 6 re-election of President Obama and negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" began to heat up. The fiscal cliff is when tax increases and spending cuts are slated to go into effect at the end of the year.