Red Hat blows out its numbers - is its future homegrown?

Red Hat blew out another quarter. But will it be able to build rather than buy its future?

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

Despite some negative anticipation of Red Hat's earnings call, Red Hat continued to show why it's the open-source market maker with profit growing 64% and sales rising 28% to $127.3 million in its second quarter. Oracle can announce a few stray customers for its Unbreakable Linux, and Novell can report 77% growth (to hit $21 million last quarter) in its Linux revenue, but Red Hat continues to set the pace.

And a frenetic pace it is, as Bloomberg reports:

Net income climbed to $18.2 million, or 9 cents a share, from $11 million, or 5 cents, Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat said today in a statement. Sales rose 28 percent to $127.3 million for the quarter ended Aug. 31, beating the $125.2 million average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

The question now will be whether Red Hat will be able to continue growing at this steady clip even as it finishes integrating JBoss. I believe that it will.

But there is some concern on the JBoss front. If you include JBoss in the product billings, Linux billings only grew by 8%, unless my math is off. That's not bad, but it's not a picture of exploding growth (notwithstanding what I wrote above). And it may indicate softness in the JBoss piece of Red Hat's story.

Still, part of the reason I believe in Red Hat is its emphasis on people, as revealed in other news.

That news relates to Red Hat appointing Michael Chen, former general manager of its China operations, as its VP of Corporate Marketing. Matthew Szulik has talked about Chen before - this is clearly someone that Matthew trusts, someone that will march when asked to march.

Red Hat needs people who can execute, and demonstrates in the Chen promotion that it knows how to grow talent. The question for future growth will be whether it can also buy and integrate talent. Stay tuned.

Here are the numbers reported:

Red hat