Top Of The Order: 

Milk, Cereal, Another Software Company: Oracle is stepping up its acquisition game, again.

On Monday, Oracle said it will acquire cloud-based utility-software marker Opower for $548 million in cash, or $10.30 a share — a 30 percent premium over what Opower’s shares closed at on Friday. Opower’s software is used by electric, gas and water utilities to improve the efficiency by which they deliver their products.

The latest Oracle check-writing for another company came just four days after the company said it would pay $663 million for Textura, another cloud-services company, which specializes in software used for managing large-scale construction projects.

Oracle has been playing catch-up, to a degree, to the likes of Salesforce.com in the cloud-based software market. When the company reported its most recent quarterly results, on March 15, its cloud revenue reached $735 million, which was still only 8 percent of its total revenue for the period ended Feb. 29. However, such sales also rose 40 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

The fact that Oracle laid out $1.2 billion over five days to buy up two companies also adds more credence to the belief that the company is back to its old acquisitive ways after slowing things down a bit in 2015. In 2014, Oracle made eight acquisitions, including Micros Systems, for which Oracle paid $5.3 billion. But in 2015, Oracle only bought three companies.

In just barely more than four months this year, Oracle has bought five companies, and is on pace to surpass its 2014 and 2015 total combined acquisitions. Larry Ellison might not be running the Oracle show on a day-to-day business anymore (he’s now executive chairman and chief technology officer), but it seems like his old buy-it-instead-of build-it philosophy is back in vogue at the Redwood City company.

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Middle Innings:

Start Camping Out, Kids: Well, if you really, truly, absolutely, can’t-wait-and-gotta-have-an-Oculus Rift headset RIGHT NOW, you’re in luck! I think.

First, you still have to wait a few days. Until May 7, to be exact, if you want to buy one of the Facebook-owned Oculus headsets at a retail outlet. Specifically, one of 48 Best Buy stores, according to the Oculus Rift blog page. The headsets will also be available to order from Amazon and the Microsoft online store on May 6 beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

But, really, I’m not kidding about the camping out part. In fact, Oculus itself seems to be going out of its way to discourage you from thinking you will get a Rift headset if you show up at your local Best Buy, or even try to buy one online.

“A small number of Rifts will be available for purchase at select Best Buy stores starting May 7 and online from Microsoft and Amazon,” Oculus said in a blog post. “Quantities will be extremely limited while we catch up on Rift pre-orders.”

Bottom Of The Lineup: 

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Monday…

Movin’ On Up: Cypress Semiconductor shares rose 6.2 percent to close at $9.59. Last Thursday, Cypress founder T.J. Rodgers stepped down after more than 30 years as chief executive at the San Jose-based chipmaker. Gains also came from Advanced Micro Devices, Silicon Graphics International, 8×8 and Align Technology.

In The Red: Brocade Communications fell by 11.5 percent after the storage-technology company cut its second-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts. Other decliners included Rovi, Pandora Media, Ruckus Wireless (which is being acquired by Brocade) and FormFactor.

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The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies rose 0.7 percent to 1,618.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index climbed almost 1 percent to 4,817.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average also added 0.7 percent to end the day at 17,891.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.8 percent to 2,081.

Quote Of The Day: “Sing the song of sixpence/That goes burn the witch/We know where you live.” — A flier mailed to Radiohead fans in the U.K. The British rock band scrubbed its Facebook page, Twitter feed and own homepage in anticipation of what many expect will soon be a new album release.

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Photo: Oracle headquarters in Redwood City. (Bay Area News Group archives)

Tags: facebook, Larry Ellison, oculus rift, Opower, Oracle, Radiohead, virtual reality, VR

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