Oracle Corp., the world's second-biggest software vendor, on Thursday posted lower fiscal second-quarter earnings as software license sales declined amid weak economic conditions.

For the quarter ended Nov. 30, the Redwood Shores, California-based company had net income of $549.5 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with $622.8 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier.

"It was our toughest quarter in a decade. ... When the economy improves, we will earn a lot more,'' Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison said in a statement.

The company said total revenue declined to $2.4 billion from $2.7 billion, falling short of Wall Street's consensus estimate for revenue of $2.5 billion.

New software license revenues, a key measure of performance, declined 27 percent from last year, while software license renewals were up 8 percent.

Oracle's profits matched analysts' consensus forecast, as compiled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

The database software giant in November lowered its forecast for the quarter to earnings of 9 cents to 10 cents a share from its earlier forecast of flat year-over-year earnings of 11 cents. It also lowered its outlook for software license revenue to a decline of 20 percent, from the 15 percent decline it originally had expected.

Oracle shares finished the regular Nasdaq session down 43 cents, or 2.85 percent, at $14.67 and moved slightly lower to around $14.39 in extended trade on Instinet following the company's earnings announcement.

Oracle shares are down 48 percent year-to-date, while the stock of No. 1 software maker Microsoft is up nearly 57 percent during the same period.