Red Hat earnings reports have become pretty predictable. And on Wall Street, boring is good.
The Raleigh software company is expected to report earnings per share of about 18 cents later today. Not one of the 23 analysts who follow Red Hat's stock expect anything less.
That's partly because of Red Hat's recent track record: It hasn't missed earnings per share estimates for 22 straight quarters, reports Bloomberg News. The company also has beat revenue estimates for 17 of the past 22 quarters, including the past five.
Analysts expect revenue of about $211 million for the quarter that ended in August, up about 15 percent from a year earlier.
Red Hat is the world's largest distributor of Linux software, a type of open-source computer operating technology that's cheaper than Microsoft's Windows and simpler to customize.
The economic downturn had led many corporations and others to look at cheaper software choices, giving Red Hat a boost. The company continues to hire and employs more than 600 people in Raleigh.
Naturally, the bigger question is what the future holds. Analysts and investors will listen carefully to Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst and chief financial officer Charlie Peters as they discuss expectations for the rest of this year, and whether increasing competition is going to erode sales.
Listen live to their conference call, scheduled for 5 p.m. today, online here.
Red Hat shares, up 50 percent in the past year, closed Tuesday at $38.43.