Rational Software easily beat the Street in its first quarter Wednesday, earning $26.9 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $170.3 million. It also set a 2-for-1 stock split.
First Call Corp. consensus pegged the e-business software developer for a profit of 22 cents a share in the quarter.
Rational (Nasdaq: RATL) shares closed up 11/32 to 92 11/16 ahead of the earnings report.
The $170.3 million in sales marks a 45 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $14.7 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $117.4 million.
"We're very pleased with our exceptional first quarter results. The momentum we've carried over from our record fourth-quarter revenue demonstrates the strength of our order pipeline," said Chairman Paul Levy in a prepared release. "Our revenue growth in Q1 came from strong sales of Rational Suites, as well as significant growth across our product lines in all geographies."
Last quarter, Rational surprised analysts when it posted a profit of $34.9 million, or 35 cents a share, on sales of $180.4 million.
Its shares peaked at 105 in March after falling to a 52-week low of 26 3/8 in August.
Nine of the 10 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."
Among other technology companies reporting earnings after the bell Wednesday:
First Call Corp. consensus pegged it for a profit of 47 cents a share in the quarter.
The $1.38 billion in sales marks a 1 percent dip from the year-ago quarter when it earned $178 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 billion.
"Our attention to profitable growth, cost management and execution of our core strategies have delivered another quarter of 20 percent or greater earnings per share growth," said CEO Ric Duques in a prepared release. "Based on our strong performance in the first half of the year, we are raising our expectations of earnings per share in 2000 to a range of $2.02 to $2.07."
Its shares closed up 1 7/16 to 51 ahead of the earnings report.
Its shares closed off 1 1/8 to 63 ahead of the earnings report.
The $44.9 million in sales marks a 42 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $1 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $31.6 million.