Red Hat’s future growth prospects – which the open-source software company has invested in by adding roughly 1,000 new hires over the last six months – helped push the company’s shares 4 percent higher Thursday.
The uptick in the stock came after the Raleigh-based company reported a better-than-expected 19 percent jump in revenue in its fiscal second quarter and boosted its revenue guidance for entire fiscal year to a range of $2.415 billion to $2.435 billion, a $15 million bump at the upper end.
Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni told analysts during a conference call that the company added about 1,000 employees over the last two quarters, primarily in sales, to drive future growth in products used to develop software applications and for emerging technologies such as middleware and cloud products. Subscription revenue rose application development and emerging technology products rose 33 percent in the quarter.
Red Hat’s hiring spree, which comes on top of 1,500 employees added to the company’s global workforce last fiscal year, boosted total employment to nearly 10,000 – including more than 1,400 in Raleigh.
Red Hat officials weren’t immediately available to discuss how many workers have been added in Raleigh over the past six months. But the company’s local workforce has more than doubled since it announced in August 2011 that it was moving its headquarters from N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus to downtown Raleigh.
Calderoni said that the company deliberately front-loaded its investment in future growth during the first half of the current fiscal year, adding: “We’ll be bringing investment levels down in the back half.”
Red Hat shares closed Thursday at $80.02, up $2.98. So far this year, its shares have fallen 3 percent.