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Unify rolls to 52-week high on Red Hat deal

Unify Corp. (Nasdaq: UNFY) became the latest company to benefit from the popularity of the Linux operating system. The e-commerce software developer jumped 32 percent to a 52-week high of 22 1/16 Thursday after signing a distribution deal with Red Hat Inc.

Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) shares shot up another 8 1/4 to 125.

Company officials said Unify was extending its partnership with Red Hat by certifying two Internet programs for use with Red Hat's Linux operating system.

"We are encouraged with the increased interest for Unify products that run on the Linux operating system," said John Davis, Unify's vice president of business development, in a prepared release. "By leveraging our partnership with Red Hat, we're able to offer customers complete and comprehensive solutions on Linux for their Internet and e-commerce needs."

Unify's ascent follows similar moves by the likes of Corel Corp. (Nasdaq: CORL) and Applix Inc. (Nasdaq: APLX).

In May, Unify and Red Hat said they would co-develop and market software for the new Red Hat's Linux system.

In its most recent quarter, Unify earned $1.7 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $8.7 million.

Unify shares were trading at an all-time low of 2 1/8 last September.

First Call consensus predicts it will earn 19 cents a share in its second quarter and 83 cents a share in the fiscal year.

The lone analyst following the stock rates it a "buy."