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Red Hat earnings rise 7 percent on surging revenue

RALEIGH (AP) -- Open source software distributor Red Hat Inc. says its fourth-quarter profit rose seven percent as increased sales and marketing expenses offset a jump in revenue. The Raleigh-based company said it earned $22 million, or 10 per share, in its first quarter under new CEO James Whitehurst. That's up seven percent from the $20.5 million, or 10 cents per share, that Red Hat earned in the year-ago quarter. Red Hat said its revenue rose 27 percent to $141.5 million in the quarter ending Feb. 29. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to earn 10 cents per share on revenue of $141.1 million. Whitehurst took over as CEO at the beginning of January, saying that he wanted to go on the offensive against larger rivals Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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