Red Hat Inc. (RHT: Quote), the world's largest seller of Linux software, said Wednesday after the markets closed that its first quarter profit rose 15% from last year, helped by strong growth in subscription revenue.
The company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue.
"Our first quarter results represented a strong start to our fiscal 2013. Red Hat's compelling value proposition and innovative, open source technologies continued to drive our financial success and market share gains." said Jim Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat.
However, Red Hat shares lost 9.54% in after hours trading after the company's first quarter billings missed some analysts' estimates. The shares, which trade in a 52-week range of $31.77 to $62.75, closed the day's regular trading session at $56.50, down 42 cents.
For the first quarter ended may 31, 2012, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based company reported net income of $37.5 million or $0.19 per share, compared to $32.5 million or $0.17 per share for the year ago quarter.
Excluding items, adjusted net income for the first quarter was $58.0 million or $0.30 per share, compared to $47.0 million or $0.24 per share in the prior year quarter.
On average, 26 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.27 per share for the first quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total revenue for the first quarter rose 19% to $314.73 million from $264.75 million in the same quarter last year. Twenty-four analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $310.77 million for the first quarter.
Subscription revenue for the quarter increased 21% year-over-year to $272.6 million, while training and services revenue grew 8% to $42.2 million.
The company ended the quarter with total deferred revenue balance of $913.3 million, an increase of 16% from a year ago.
During the first quarter, the company repurchased about 550,000 shares of its common stock for about $30 million and ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and investments of $1.3 billion. In March, the company announced a new $300 million stock buyback program that commenced on April 1.
Red Hat's main rival Novell, Inc. was acquired by Attachmate Corp. in a $2.2 billion deal in April last year.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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