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Red Hat shaves loss to $900k

Revenues up 112 per cent too

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Red Hat, the Linux company that isn't a Linux company - it's an "open source Internet infrastructure solutions" provider, apparently - yesterday said its latest quarter saw revenues rocket a clear 112 per cent. And its loss improved somewhat too.

For the three months to 30 November - Red Hat's third quarter of fiscal 2001 - revenues reached $22.4 million, up from $10.5 million for the same period last year. That's good news, as is Red Hat's headline earnings figure, a $900,000 loss (one cent a share), a very big improvement on the $5.3 million loss is posted for Q3 2000 and ahead of Wall Street's consensus expectation of two cents a share. Hurrah!

Of course, when you factor in one-off expenses, such as acquisition charges, Red Hat lost $21.4 million (13 cents a share), which is significantly worse than the $6.3 million it lost this time last year. But that's the point: they're one-offs, and not a sign of trouble with the company's business plan.

That strategy continues to be a focus on revenue growth. "We are committed to increasing revenue by a minimum of 85 per cent or $157 million in fiscal 2002... and achieving profitability by the end of calendar 2001,'' said Red Hat's CFO, Kevin Thompson.

"These results put us in an extremely strong position going into the fourth quarter,'' he added. "We are committed to our stated goals of growing revenues by 100 per cent during fiscal 2001."

Actually, the 2002 revenue goal is $155 million, according to Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik, but hey, we can forgive Kev making a small error when he's clearly so over the moon.

As well he might, his company having seen improving results when is seems like almost every other IT company is warning investors and analysts to expect revenue and profit falls. ®

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