Red Hat’s results take to the clouds

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg News/File 2011
Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst said the company was surprised by demand for its Enterprise Linux software.

Red Hat Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit and sales topped analysts’ estimates as businesses snapped up its Linux software as they prepare to move more applications to cloud computing. The company also said it plans to repurchase up to $300 million of its shares. Net income rose to $36 million, or 18 cents a share, from $33.5 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier, the Raleigh, N.C. company said. Sales jumped 21 percent to $297 million.