Linux distributor Red Hat beats profit estimate, raises forecasts

(Reuters) - Red Hat Inc RHT.N reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecasts, driven by strong demand for the company's products that help make the transition to the cloud.

Shares of the company, better known as the distributor of Linux operating system, were up 5.6 percent in extended trading on Monday. They had gained about 52 percent this year.

“Strong demand for our technologies that enable hybrid cloud computing has contributed to accelerated revenue growth in the first half,” Red Hat Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst said in a statement.

Hybrid cloud services let customers run key business data on private, internal networks along with consumer-facing public cloud systems.

Red Hat has been boosted in recent quarters by surging demand from enterprises for its flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), a distribution of the Linux operating system that is offered on a “pay as you go” subscription basis.

The company’s subscription revenue, mainly consisting of its RHEL technologies, was up 20 percent at $637.6 million.

Total revenue rose 20.6 percent to $723.4 million.

Red Hat raised its full-year revenue forecast to a range of $2.88 billion to $2.90 billion, from $2.79 billion to $2.83 billion. The company raised its adjusted profit forecast to $2.77-$2.79 per share, from $2.66-$2.70.

The Raleigh, North Carolina-based company’s net income rose 64.8 percent to $96.9 million in the second quarter ended Aug. 31.

Excluding items, Red Hat earned 77 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 67 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel