Red Hat revenue jumps 15 percent in Q3

Shares of open source software giant Red Hat rose more than 5 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported a 15 percent jump in fiscal third-quarter revenue that bested Wall Street’s expectations.

The Raleigh-based company’s net income also exceeded what Wall Street was anticipating.

Red Hat reported after the markets closed Thursday that it generated $523.6 million in revenue in the quarter that ended Nov. 30; analysts polled by Bloomberg News had projected revenue of $521.5 million for the quarter.

Revenue rose 21 percent after adjusting for currency fluctuations. The company has posted four consecutive quarters of revenue growth of 20 percent or greater after adjusting for currency fluctuations.

CEO Jim Whitehurst told analysts during a conference call that a big part of the company’s robust growth has been “winning market share from our competitors. That continues.”

“The nice part of that is, it almost doesn’t matter if the IT market is growing or not,” Whitehurst said in an interview after the call. “Again, it’s just how we take share.”

Adjusted net income was $89 million, or 48 cents per share, up from $79 million a year ago. Analysts had been forecasting 46 cents per share.

The company’s outlook for its fiscal fourth quarter was mixed.

It projected that revenue would range between $535 and $539 million, ahead of the $533.2 million projected by analysts. That would push annual revenue past the $2 billion mark for the first time.

Red Hat projected that adjusted net income would be 47 cents per share, a penny shy of Wall Street’s expectations.

Red Hat’s software is available for free; it makes money by charging its business customers for maintenance, support and related services. The company has about 1,400 workers at its downtown Raleigh headquarters and 8,300 employees worldwide.

Earlier Thursday, Red Hat shares closed at $78.86, up 9 cents. The company’s shares have risen 14 percent this year.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii