Sun reports Q4 numbers

At the Reg. Not good.

In a nutshell? Revenues cratered.

Specifically, Sun said that it was forecasting that sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 ended June 30 would be in the range of $2.58bn to $2.68bn, down between 29.1 to 31.7 per cent over the $3.78bn in sales in fiscal 2008’s fourth quarter. The fourth quarter in fiscal 2008 was no great shakes itself, with sales down and net earnings falling 73.3 percent to $88m, or about 11 cents per share. It was the beginning of the end for Sun, as we now know.

Thursday, Sun shareholders vote on selling Sun to Oracle. I’d call it a foregone conclusion that this deal will be approved. If the regulators don’t approve it … well …

The Reg opines more.

Oracle added that it still believes Sun can contribute more than $1.5bn in operating earnings to Oracle on a non-GAAP basis in that first year, and that Sun’s piece of operating profits can be increased to over $2bn in the second year.

That will be a pretty neat trick, considering that in the past four quarters (running from April 2008 through March 2009), Sun had an operating loss of $1.95bn, and in the similar four quarters a year earlier (from April 2007 through March 2008) it had an operating income of $634m.

Oracle either has to boost sales where Sun has been unable to, or slash costs where Sun has been unwilling to, in order to get to that $1.5bn in operating earnings. I think we all know which way this will be accomplished, right?

Yeah. We have a reasonably good idea of what is and is not toast.

It would not surprise me to see Oracle sell off the hardware business in bits and pieces. The loss making sections of Sun are likely to be shuttered quickly. Viable but non-core pieces sold off. Core pieces placed under new management.

If I were guessing, Java and MySQL will survive intact. The likely reason that earnings cratered is uncertainty over what will be continued and what won’t be.

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