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Sun issues upbeat fourth-quarter forecast

Sun Microsystems says net income could beat estimates, sending its shares up more than 11 percent in after-hours trading.

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday announced preliminary fourth-quarter results that were higher than Wall Street's expectations, sending its shares up more than 11 percent in after-hours trading.

Shares of Sun climbed as high as $9.83 per share in after-hours trading, up from a close of $8.80 a share during the regular session.

"In these difficult economic times, we continue to see customers across the world look to open software and hardware as a source of savings," Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's chief executive, said in a statement.

Sun said it expects to report fourth-quarter revenue between $3.7 billion and $3.8 billion for the period ending June 30, compared with nearly $3.84 billion a year ago.

Wall Street, meanwhile, expected Sun to generate revenue of $3.8 billion, falling in the high end of Sun's range, according to Thomson Financial.

On the earnings front, Sun said it expects to generate net income of 5 cents to 15 cents a share. After excluding special charges, the hardware maker expects fourth-quarter net income to be in the range of 25 cents to 35 cents a share.

Analysts, meanwhile, were expecting Sun to post earnings of 27 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Sun expects to report its fourth-quarter results on August 1.