Red Hat: Nearing $1 billion in revenue; Not bad for free software

Red Hat delivered a strong fourth quarter and is on track to be the first pure play open source company to hit $1 billion in annual revenue.

Red Hat delivered a strong fourth quarter and is on track to be the first pure play open source company to hit $1 billion in annual revenue.

The open source software provider reported fourth quarter net income of $33.5 million, or 17 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings were 26 cents a share for the fourth quarter was $244.8 million, up 25 percent from a year ago. Red Hat's earnings were boosted by 2 cents a share due to a research and development tax credit. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 22 cents a share on sales of $236 million.

For the year ended Feb. 28, 2011, Red Hat reported net income of $107.3 million, or 55 cents a share, on revenue of $909.3 million, up 22 percent from a year ago.

That revenue tally makes Red Hat a lock to break through the $1 billion sales total in the year ahead. Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, said the company's run rate is approaching $1 billion in revenue. Whitehurst added that Red Hat is gaining from data center upgrades, virtualization software and JBoss middleware.

By the numbers:

  • Red Hat delivered margins of 16 percent for fiscal 2011.
  • Fourth quarter subscription revenue was $209.3 million, up 24 percent from a year ago. Training and services revenue was $35.4 million.
  • Billings in the quarter topped 30 percent, Red Hat's fastest rate in 12 quarters.
  • Cash and investments were $1.2 billion as of Feb. 28.