December 21, 2010 / 9:56 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Red Hat profit rises on 'strong' demand

* Q3 EPS ex-items 20 cents vs Wall Street view 20 cents

* Revenue up 21 pct to $236 mln vs Street view $227 mln

* Shares fall 1.7 percent from near 52-week high

BOSTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Business software maker Red Hat Inc RHT.N reported higher quarterly profit, echoing optimism about the technology spending climate shown by bigger industry companies last week.

Red Hat Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst said in a statement that market demand for his company’s products was “strong” as revenue exceed Wall Street projections.

The world’s largest distributor of the open-source Linux operating system said on Tuesday it had profit excluding items of 20 cents per share in its fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 30. That matched the average analyst forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Year-ago profit for the quarter was 17 cents a share.

Revenue climbed 21 percent from a year earlier to $236 million, beating the average forecast of $227 million.

Software giant Oracle Corp ORCL.O, technology services firm Accenture Plc (ACN.N) and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion RIM.TO last week released stronger-than-expected results, igniting hopes that for a recovery in technology spending. [ID:nN17101868].

Shares of the Raleigh, North Carolina, company fell 1.7 percent to $47.08 in extended trading. They had closed at $47.88 on the New York stock exchange, near their 52-week high of $49.00. (Reporting by Jim Finkle)

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