The software giant in Redwood Shores keeps getting bigger. In its most recent financials, Oracle announced that it made US$967 million in profit for the quarter, on sales of $4.2 billion. That represents a 21 percent increase in profit and 26 percent increase in revenue, compared to same quarter last year.

Those numbers seem to be roughly in line with analyst expectations. Meanwhile, Oracle is the midst of an aggressive share by-back program – in other words, the board thinks that its own stock is a better investment than, say, buying more companies.

Even so, there’s no doubt that the company is continuing to grow aggressively. The hypercompetitive Oracle claims to be taking market share from SAP, BEA and IBM, and also seems to be doing a good job with its new products and staff, and in retaining acquired customers.

While the company’s offerings are a bewildering hodgepodge of databases, applications, middleware and services, the reality is that most customers will only care about specific subsets of Oracle’s portfolio. The lack of coherency between its myriad enterprise applications is more of a concern for outside observers than it is for customers – who would probably just be using one set of products. If they really need to bind Oracle’s diverse stack together, customers will integrate them internally, or hire Oracle’s consultants to do the job for them.

To snapshot Oracle against some other big software companies, sorted by quarterly revenue:

IBM: Quarterly revenue $22.6B, net income $2.2B, market cap $144.6B
Microsoft: Quarterly revenue $10.8B, net income $3.5B, market cap $294.8B
Oracle: Quarterly revenue $4.2B, net income $967M, market cap $88.8B
Google: Quarterly revenue, $2.7B, net income $733M, market cap $143.5B
SAP: Quarterly revenue $2.2B, net income $388M, market cap $64.4B

Prediction for next year: I’ll go far out on a limb and say that Oracle’s going to keep growing. Once it has managed to digest more of its acquisitions, its profits should rise dramatically. While it has some interesting competition from Salesforce.com, the latter company’s SaaS offerings are still too new and too small to make a significant dent in Oracle’s business.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick