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Rackspace beats Q3 estimates again, joins Microsoft Cloud OS network

The third quarter has been a busy one for the San Antonio-headquartered company. At the beginning of September, Rackspace was on the block for a joint venture or outright acquisition.

Coming off a strong second quarter , Rackspace repeated the feat with better-than-expected third quarter earnings after the bell on Monday.

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The cloud services provider reported a net income of $26 million, or 18 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 18 cents per share on a revenue of $460 million, up 4.2 percent from the previous quarter and 18.3 percent from the third quarter of 2013.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 16 cents per share on a revenue of $458.36 million.

Rackspace's total server count grew during the third quarter to 110,453, up from 107,657 servers at the end of the second quarter. The managed cloud firm also employed 5,939 people worldwide as of September 30, up from 5,798 in the previous quarter.

Also tucked away in the Q3 report, Rackspace announced its membership to the Microsoft Cloud OS Network, pledging its Fanatical Support service offering to Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and Azure Pack. Thus, corporate customers can choose to host apps on Microsoft-based private clouds with hybrid connections to Azure as well as Rackspace's dedicated servers and public cloud.

Looking at Rackspace's new leadership stack, CEO Taylor Rhodes briefly reflected in prepared remarks about his first quarter at the helm:

We are pleased with our operating performance this quarter and encouraged by the momentum we are seeing in the business. We are poised to capitalize on the massive opportunity ahead in the managed cloud market, where we see increasing demand for our managed services and expertise. And while we made strong progress this year, we’re determined to continually improve our execution and seize our future.

The third quarter has been a busy one for the San Antonio-headquartered company. At the beginning of September , Rackspace was on the block for a joint venture or outright acquisition.

But within a few weeks , Rackspace declared "its commitment to remain independent" while simultaneously minting Rhodes as the new chief executive and co-founder Graham Weston as chairman.

Amid an update to its OpenStack private cloud service along with a 99.99 percent service level agreement to guarantee uptime, Rackspace's strategy is more and more focused on its managed cloud with the hopes of avoiding ongoing price wars with the likes of Google and Amazon Web Services.

Google Cloud Platform saw its rates slashed once again last week , and with Amazon's annual developer summit in Las Vegas this week , reciprocation is all but expected from AWS.

For the current quarter, Wall Street expects Rackspace to deliver earnings of 18 cents per share with revenue of $476.51 million.

Rackspace answered with a slightly soft Q4 revenue guidance range of $469 to $476 million.