The Linux specialist's sales jumped 18% year-over-year in the fourth quarter by pulling in $196 million in revenue, mostly from renewable service subscription fees -- a segment that grew by 21%. Both the total revenue and the subscription component accelerated at the end of the year, as both growth rates outdistanced their full-year benchmarks by about 3 percentage points.
$23.4 million of that haul trickled down to the bottom line, where $0.12 of GAAP net income per share represented a solid 50% boost over the year-ago period. If you're wondering why Red Hat's stock is trading down today after such an impressive performance report, CEO Jim Whitehurst (yes, the former airline rescuer) believes that investors are looking at all the wrong indicators today. Analysts are wondering why Red Hat's forward guidance came in at or below their own estimates, but the company line is that these guidance figures don't include investment gains that analysts expected to be included, and that's the difference-maker.
Well, whatever. It's a fact that Red Hat's numbers were strong, and the company has a history of underpromising and overdelivering in a manner that reminds me of Apple
And if recent history isn't enough, consider how Red Hat is making a serious push into the red-hot cloud computing market. The Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) platform is emerging as a credible alternative to VMware
With Linux rival Novell