Red Hat earnings grew in Q1

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First Tier Linux vendor Red Hat released its first quarter 2009 results on Wednesday, saying growth in subscriptions and services revenues led to a 6.6 per cent profit increase.

The company said its revenue rose 32 per cent from its first quarter last year to $156.6 million, including subscription revenue of $130.7 million, up 27 per cent year over year, and training and services revenue of $25.9 million, up 64 per cent from last year's first quarter.

Red Hat said its profit for the quarter was US$17.3 million or eight cents per share, up 6.6 per cent from its profit of US$16.2 million or also eight cents per share in its fiscal 2008 first quarter.

Excluding one-time charges, Red Hat said it earned US$37 million or 18 cents per share.

The company's revenue growth came with higher costs, however. Red Hat's research and development expenses increased almost 33 per cent to US$28.9 million, while marketing and sales expenses increased 28 per cent to US$59.3 million.

In a conference call with analysts, president and CEO Jim Whitehurst said that all of Red Hat's top 25 customers renewed subscriptions during the quarter and that the company is looking forward to the rest of the year. "We are off to a good start and on pace to deliver more major product releases this year than in any other period in Red Hat's history," Whitehurst said. This marks Whitehurst's second quarter in the top job running Red Hat.

Red Hat maintained its forecast for 2009 annual revenue of US$665 million to US$680 million.
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