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Red Hat claimed to beat out an already healthy Linux market as it reported fourth-quarter sales figures that saw net income more than double.

The Linux distributor reported a 130 per cent increase in net income to $27.3m on revenue that grew 37 per cent to hit $78.7m during it fourth quarter. Red Hat was also happy to report earnings per diluted share up seven cents to $0.13.

Wall St analysts had forecast $78.4m revenue and EPS of $0.12.

For the company's full fiscal year 2006, Red Hat's net income grew 75.4 per cent to $79.6m on total revenue of $278.3m, an increase of 41.6 per cent over the previous year. EPS hit $0.41 compared to $0.21.

Red Hat's vice president for investor relations Dion Cornett said in a statement: "Fiscal year 2006 was a great year in that we out grew leading industry analysts' estimates for Linux market growth and substantially outpaced rivals."

Analyst IDC says Linux is the industry's fastest growing server operating system, growing at more than 20 per cent per quarter. Cornett added that the company's latest quarterly and annual results implied continued market share gains are there for the taking.®

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