Red Hat shares jump after strong earnings report

dranii@newsobserver.comDecember 19, 2013 

Shares of Linux software company Red Hat jumped more than 10 percent in after-hours trading after the company reported surprisingly strong quarterly revenue and net income.

The company also upped its guidance for the full fiscal year.

“You had a pretty spectacular quarter here,” Piper Jaffray analyst Mark Murphy told Red Hat executives during a conference call Thursday.

Raleigh-based Red Hat reported after the markets closed Thursday that revenue for the fiscal third quarter that ended in November jumped 15 percent to $396.5 million. Analysts polled by Bloomberg News were anticipating $383.1 million in revenue.

After adjusting for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 17 percent.

“As I travel around the globe meeting with customers, it’s clear Red Hat is in an enviable position in the data center infrastructure space,” CEO Jim Whitehurst said. “Our innovative solutions address the needs to modernize existing IT infrastructure.”

“We’re also seeing strong interest in our cloud technologies,” Whitehurst added. Red Hat and computer giant Dell announced last week that they are collaborating on the next generation of Red Hat’s software platform for cloud computing.

Red Hat’s net income totaled $81 million, up from $57 million a year ago, after adjusting for stock compensation and amortization. That amounted to 42 cents per share, compared with the 35 cents per share Wall Street was expecting.

Red Hat’s open-source software is available for free. It makes money by charging customers for maintenance and support and for services such as training and consulting.

Earlier Thursday, Red Hat shares closed at $49, up 9 cents. Its shares have fallen 7 percent this year.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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