Investors Hear Sybase Now

Competing with bigwigs like Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) and IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) , Sybase (NYSE: SY  ) often gets lost in the noise. But over the past month, Sybase's stock price has spiked roughly 20%. That's partly because hedge fund Sandell Asset Management recently took a 6% position in the company, and partly because Sybase's business seems to be gathering speed.

In fiscal Q3, revenue rose 22% to $255.3 million, while license revenue climbed 12% to $85.1 million. Net income came to $34.1 million, or $0.37 per share, and cash flow from operations was a $47.1 million. In all, Sybase has $717.3 million in the bank.

Sybase is getting lots of traction from SQL Anywhere, a database product, and the Information Anywhere Suite, which helps manage data in mobile environments. As a result, the company is snagging customers such as Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH  ) , Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) , and Siemens (NYSE: SI  ) .

Sybase's messaging business, focused on enterprise customers, generated $34.3 million in Q3 revenue. Last week, the company launched the new version of its MMS 365 product, which can send large volumes of content -- including photos, audio, video, and ringtones -- to mobile devices. One of the early adopters is Facebook.

Despite the hefty investments, Sybase keeps making progress on its operating margins, which have expanded from 15.4% to 17.4%. As a result, the company has boosted its cash flow guidance to $210 for 2007, compared to the prior estimate of $195 million to $205 million.

As I mentioned in a recent Fool piece, I think investors should downplay any buyout speculation, since those deals are impossible to predict. Nonetheless, Sybase has a solid customer base and a strong product offering. Based on the Q3 results, the company should be making even more noise in the future.

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