Red Hat Gets Aggressive

Who says open source can’t be profitable?

Shares of Red Hat soared 22% Friday after the Linux leader reported a big jump in profitability and made an aggressive move into storage.

Bank of America upgraded Red Hat to Buy on the news. Subscription bookings and guidance were well above views, the analyst firm said, and Red Hat is expected to continue to benefit from increasing adoption of Linux in large enterprises. Bank of America set a $19 price target on the stock, based on expected earnings of 24 cents a share and a 35% five-year projected growth rate.

The market was mixed Friday, as gains were restrained by terrorism concerns. Options and futures expiry also contributed to volatility.

The Nasdaq lost 5 to 1951, the S&P 500 slipped half a point to 1088, and the Dow rose 30 to 10,278. Volume rose to 1.59 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.89 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 16-15 on the NYSE, but decliners led by that margin on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 46% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 369-9 on the NYSE, and 171-11 on the Nasdaq.

RealNetworks slipped after filing an antitrust suit against Microsoft .

Tektronix surged 12% after beating estimates, while Paychex , Solectron and Manugistics fell on in-line results.

ValueClick and Silicon Storage surged after raising guidance.

Research In Motion fell 2% ahead of earnings Monday night.

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