Red Hat: S&P Intraday Gainer

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Red Hat ( RHT) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 Thursday morning.

The S&P was down 11.2 points, or 0.8%, to 1,394.34.

Shares of Red Hat rose 13.27% to $58.21 on about one-and-a-half times the stock's average daily trading volume. The open source solutions company reported Wednesday fourth-quarter earnings of $36 million, or 18 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $38.2 million, or 19 cents a share.

On an adjusted basis, Red Hat earned 29 cents a share in the quarter.

Analysts were anticipating 27 cents a share.

The company also announced a $300 million share repurchase program.

Red Hat's stock hit a 52-week high Thursday of $57.83. The stock's 52-week low of $31.77 was set on Aug. 19.

Red Hat has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio of 39.83 times; the average for software companies is 30.92. For comparison, both Intuit ( INTU) and Adobe Systems ( ADBE) have lower forward P/Es of 17.72 and 12.87, respectively.

Fifteen of the 23 analysts who cover Red Hat rated it buy. Seven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Red Hat a B grade with a buy rating and $59.53 price target. The stock has risen 40.45% year to date.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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