NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Herman Miller (MLHR) jumped in late trades on Wednesday after the Zeeland, Mich.-based designer furniture maker trounced Wall Street's expectations for its fiscal first-quarter profit.
The company said it earned $24.6 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $458.1 million, up more than 20% year-over-year, in the 14 weeks ended Sept. 3. The per-share profit was a dime ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for earnings of 32 cents a share in the period on sales of $444.7 million.
The stock was last quoted at $18, up 12%, on volume of nearly 24,000, according to Nasdaq.com. The shares fell 6% in Wednesday's regular session, and are down nearly 30% so far in 2011.
"Despite ongoing volatility in the financial markets and a cautious pace in the broader economy, our business has shown remarkable resilience," said Brian Walker, the company's chief executive officer, in a statement. "Together with the many improvements we've made in the business over the past year, our performance this quarter gives us confidence that we are well positioned to face the opportunities and challenges ahead."Herman Miller attributed the outperformance in the latest quarter to a strong gross margin of 33.7%, up 120 basis points from last year, as it instituted a price increase in May and was able to leverage higher production levels, offsetting increased commodity costs.
Red HatRed Hat (RHT) was a high flier in the extended session after the company reported a non-GAAP profit of $56.5 million, or 29 cents a share, in its fiscal second quarter ended in August, beating Wall Street's consensus view by 16%. The maker of a Linux-based operating system and other software applications racked up revenue of $281.3 million in the quarter, a 28% hike over the same period last year, and comfortably above analysts' estimate of $271.8 million. Subscription revenue climbed 28% year-over-year to reach $238.3 million during the quarter. The shares jumped 6% to $42.75 on after-hours volume of nearly 400,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Based on Wednesday's closing price of $40.29, the stock was down more 10% so far in 2011. The majority of Wall Street was bullish on Red Hat ahead of the report with 17 of the 25 analysts covering the stock at strong buy (7) or buy (10), and the median 12-month price target at $47.50, implying potential upside of 18% from current levels.
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