IHS (NYSE:IHS), which develops technologies for the energy and construction industries, continues to impress investors. Since the beginning of the year, its stock price has climbed from $20.50 to $33.70. Given its recent quarterly results and significant competitive advantages, the company's growth may not be over yet.

In the third quarter, IHS's revenues increased 19% to $139.9 million. Excluding non-cash items, net income was $29.1 million, up from last year's $21.2 million.

IHS got its start in 1959 as a provider of product catalog databases -- on microfilm -- for aerospace engineers. By the late 1980s, it was the largest commercial producer of microfilm products.

Luckily, IHS moved to the Internet in the mid-1990s. As of now, it has a comprehensive offering of technical information, decision-support tools, and high-end services for the energy, defense, construction, and auto industries. Its offerings are all based on industry-standard systems from the likes of Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW).

IHS's most important assets may be its databases for the energy industry. Oil companies can use them to identify attractive exploration investments. Given the huge costs of exploration, this information is a must.

IHS sports several key competitive advantages. Its databases took decades to accumulate, creating a formidable moat of acquired knowledge for potential competitors. In addition, it has hundreds of information-services experts who continue to add value to those databases. All this data helps make IHS a trusted brand in its industry segments. Better yet, the company's subscription-based business model gives it mostly recurring revenue and generates substantial cash flows -- $29 million in the third quarter alone.

In our fiercely competitive global economy, companies' need to leverage data helps to drive IHS's continuing growth. Management recently upped its full-year 2006 guidance, now forecasting revenue growth of 11.5% to 12.5%, compared to the prior estimate of 10% to 12%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (a measure some analysts use in this industry) are now expected to grow at 28% to 31%, up from the previous estimate of 21% to 25%.

It's hard to believe that IHS is 47 years old. But when it comes to understanding data, experience is critical -- and IHS is definitely making its shareholders happy.

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Fool contributor Tom Taulli does not own shares of companies mentioned in this article.