Red Hat Linux tops 300,000 subscribers

Red Hat now has over 300,000 subscribers to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux support service, the company said Thursday, during a conference call reporting the results of its first quarter of fiscal 2004. The company reported revenue of US$41.6 million and net income of US$10.7 million, for the quarter, which ended May 31.

Red Hat added 98,000 new subscriptions during the quarter, up 13 percent from the 87,000 reported during the fourth quarter of 2003. Enterprise customers purchased 75,000 of the subscriptions sold during the first quarter and the other 23,000 were sold to the high performance computer and Web hosting customers, the company said.

Revenue for the quarter was slightly below Wall Street's expectations, which averaged US$43 million, according to a survey of 16 analysts by Thomson First Call.

Red Hat surprised the financial community Monday by announcing that the company's Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Thompson, planned to step down.

Thompson, who has been with Red Hat for nearly four years is leaving to spend more time with his family, but he is expected to stay with the company until a replacement is found, Red Hat said.

The company has already begun a search for a new CFO, who is expected to be hired within the next 90 days, according to Matthew Szulik, Red Hat's CEO.

"We're looking for someone that has the experience of managing a larger business," he said. "Collectively we're very pleased with the quality of candidates that have been presented to us, considering that the search has been ongoing for a very short period of time."

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