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Informatica Cruising on the Info Highway

When Sohaib Abbasi came on board as Informatica's (Nasdaq: INFA  ) CEO in the middle of 2004, he wasted little time in making big changes. He bought several companies and invested in new product lines to enhance Informatica's data integration capabilities. And now things are starting to pay off, as seen with the company's fiscal third-quarter results.

According to its report late last week, Informatica posted revenue of $96 million, a 22% increase over the past year. License revenue rose 22% to $41 million. Informatica snagged 53 customers and signed repeat business with 194 customers, including Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS  ) and eBay's (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) PayPal.

The bottom line is also looking strong. Third-quarter net income came to $14.4 million, or $0.15 per share, which compares to net income of $9.4 million, or $0.10 per share, in the same period a year ago. The balance sheet is also solid, with $150 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Informatica is seeing improvement in its European operations, and it's also getting traction from partnerships with large players like Accenture (NYSE: ACN  ) and SAP (NYSE: SAP  ) . In fact, the company recently signed an alliance with Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN  ) , which will sell Informatica products in its extensive channels.

The long-term prospects for Informatica look promising. Some of the key drivers include the trend of strategic global mergers, as well as the emergence of new technologies, such as on-demand software. These all require data integration, and Informatica continues to improve its product line. For example, the company has solutions for's (NYSE: CRM  ) on-demand customers.

And with a big chunk of cash, Informatica has opportunities for stock buybacks -- or even some deal-making. But in light of its actions so far, it's a good bet that the company will make sure it continues to grow its core business at a healthy rate.

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