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Red Hat profit doubles on corporate demand

Posted by iNext - 2006-03-31

Red Hat Inc, a leading distributor of open-source Linux software, said on Tuesday quarterly profit more than doubled on the back of strong subscription sales from corporate customers.
Red Hat's net profit rose to $28.7 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter, ended February 28, versus $13.4 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier. Fourth-quarter sales totaled $78.7 million versus $57.5 million last year.

Analysts, on average, forecast fourth-quarter earnings per share of 12 cents on revenue of $78.4 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Red Hat provides update and support services for its version of Linux, which can be copied and modified freely, unlike proprietary software such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat also competes against Novell Inc, developer of networking software and the SuSE Linux operating system.

Shares of Red Hat closed up 1 cent at $28.81 on the Nasdaq. The stock has risen 6 percent since the start of the year versus a 4 percent rise on the Nasdaq.

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