The open source software company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $291.22 million.Shares of Red Hat hit a 52-week high Tuesday of $54.01. The stock's 52-week low of $31.77 was set on Aug. 19. Red Hat shares trade at a forward P/E of 45.7X; the average for software companies is 30.91X. For comparison, Intuit (INTU) has a lower forward P/E of 17.56X. Fifteen of the 23 analysts who cover Red Hat rate it at buy. Seven analysts give the stock a hold rating and one rates it at sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Red Hat a B grade with a buy rating and $59.53 price target. The stock has risen 26.79% so far in 2012. Analyst comment: "Red Hat is scheduled to report its F4Q12 earnings after market close on 28th March 2012," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a report Monday. "We expect Revenues/EPS of $291m/ $0.27 compared to street estimates of $291m/$0.27. We expect billings to grow 22% y/y. However, we believe the buy side expectations are much higher, given the strong rebound in the stock to reach an all-time high after it had traded off following the billings miss in the previous quarter. Demand trends continue to be stable and we expect RHT to deliver an in-line quarter. Maintain HOLD and $48 PT."
Hitachi Shares of Hitachi hit a 52-week high of $63.51. The stock's 52-week low of $46.91 was set on Oct. 4. Hitachi shares trade at a forward P/E of 11.1; the average for electronic equipment companies is 13.6X. Analysts were split on Hitachi with one rated it a buy and one rating it sell. TheStreet Ratings gives Hitachi a C+ grade and hold rating. The stock has risen 21.61% year to date.
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