SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Computer software giant Oracle Corp. reported a 62 percent surge in quarterly profits, defying a recent trend of earnings letdowns that have ravaged technology stocks.

The Redwood Shores-based maker of database and e-business software posted net income of $623 million, or 11 cents per share, on Thursday for its fiscal second quarter. Oracle earned $384 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had forecast earnings of 10 cents per share.

Revenues in the quarter ended Nov. 30 reached $2.7 billion, up 15 percent from $2.3 billion last year.

After Oracle disclosed its results, the company's shares climbed $1 to $28.50 in after-hours trading. During regular trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Oracle's stock fell 87 1/2 cents to $27.50.

In another heartening sign, Oracle also reported robust growth in the applications software business that is supposed to fuel the company's future growth. This type of software is being sold primarily to other businesses looking to automate their operations on the Internet.

Sales of Oracle's applications software increased 66 percent during the quarter to $279 million. The gains signal the company continues to make inroads in its bid to become a linchpin in the Internet economy.

Adjusting for currency fluctuations abroad, Oracle said its applications sales rose by 73 percent in the quarter.

``They delivered some great numbers,'' said analyst Mark Verback of Epoch Partners in San Francisco. ``There is still strong demand for applications that make businesses more efficient, and this quarter is proof of that.''

Oracle's core database business remained steady, as sales of products in this segment increased 19 percent to $775 million. Adjusting for currency changes, database sales improved by 26 percent.

Through the first half of its fiscal year, Oracle earned $1.1 billion, or 19 cents per share, on revenues of $4.9 billion. At the same juncture last year, the company earned $621 million, or 10 cents per share, on revenues of $4.3 billion.

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