Shares in Red Hat Inc.(NYSE: RHT), the largest distributor of Linux software, posted a new 52-week high this morning of $60.20. The last time the stock price was higher than that was March of 2000.
Red Hat easily topped analysts’ consensus estimates on EPS and revenues, as we noted last night following the company’s earnings report. The company announced a $300 million share buyback program commencing April 1st to replace a similar program expiring on March 31st. About $214 million in stock repurchases have been made under the existing program.
In its conference call, Red Hat offered revenue guidance of $1.34-$1.36 billion for its 2013 fiscal year, up 20% from 2012 revenues. The company also expects non-GAAP operating margins of 24.7%-24.9% and full-year non-GAAP EPS of $1.16-$1.20. The company also expects to hire 1,000 new employees this year. The consensus analyst’s estimate called for EPS of $1.15 on revenue of $1.3 billion.
Shares are up more than 15% at $59.25 in a new 52-week range of $31.77-$60.20. Volume is about 6x the 3-month daily average of 1.46 million shares.