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Avant! delivers in third quarter

Software developer Avant! Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNT) met analysts' estimates in its third quarter Wednesday, earning $14.7 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $75.5 million. Its shares closed off 1/4 to 16 ahead of the earnings report.

First Call consensus expected Avant! to earn 37 cents a share in the quarter.

The $75.5 million in sales represents a 19 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it raked in $11.4 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $63.4 million.

"By adhering to the priorities that have made our business successful -- customers, technology and people -- Avant! continues its record growth," said CEO Gerald Hsu in a prepared release. "This is the 23rd consecutive quarterly growth of both revenue and EPS."

Avant! shares moved up to a 52-week high of 25 1/4 in September following a favorable ruling from a federal judge in its ongoing copyright infringement battle with Cadence Design Systems (NYSE: CDN).

The stock fell to a low of 10 1/2 in June.

Three of the four analysts following the stock still maintain a "hold" rating.

First Call consensus expects Avant! to earn $1.45 a share in the fiscal year.