Analysts were looking for adjusted earnings of $0.33 per share on $414 million in total sales. Red Hat reported non-GAAP earnings of $0.34 per share and $424 million in total revenue, exceeding the Street's targets across the board. Sales increased 17% year-over-year while earnings per share grew 6%.
As the company signs more and more long-term contracts in lieu of one-time license fees, Red Hat's deferred revenue balance increased 20% year over year to $1.3 billion.
Red Hat spent $80 million on share buybacks in the first quarter, retiring 1.6 million shares from the open market. That's a 0.9% reduction of Red Hat's outstanding share count.
In other news today, Red Hat announced the acquisition of privately held eNovance this morning for an undisclosed sum. The Paris-based OpenStack implementation and support specialist is expected to reinforce Red Hat's OpenStack service portfolio.
In a phone conversation with The Motley Fool, CEO Jim Whitehurst mused on the strongest year-over-year growth Red Hat has seen since the second quarter of 2012.
"I think we're really starting to get traction with some of our cloud offerings," Whitehurst said. "Just solidly, we're starting to see some reacceleration. For me, obviously, that's a good thing to see because a lot of analysts kind of question-marked whether Red Hat's growth would be accelerating. And we showed reacceleration not only in revenues but also in billings. That bodes well for future growth accelerating as well."