NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Given the weaker-than-expected earnings results recently released by Oracle (ORCL) and Red Hat (RHT), there's no question that the long-awaited return of IT enterprise spending has yet to materialize.When you combine the prolonged weakness with recent political wrangling about "debt ceilings" and "government shutdowns," this makes the results from Tibco ( TIBX), which I recommended back in July as a great buy, all the more impressive. While the macro environment has certainly taken a toll on the likes of Microsoft ( MSFT) and IBM ( IBM), Tibco's outperformance makes it tough to keep using what's become cliched excuses. I'm not suggesting these exterior macro factors don't play a key role in declining revenues, I'm nonetheless warming up to the idea -- at least in this sector -- that Tibco is beginning to steal meaningful share from its rivals. CRM) and Workday ( WDAY) for their SaaS (software as a service) capabilities, Tibco has felt disrespected. But you don't get the Street's attention by being bitter. To that end, prior to the company's announcement, I told investors that if management of this company wanted to be taken seriously, it needed to make a strong statement. And with adjusted profits coming 33% above management's prior guidance, sending the stock upward by 6%, Tibco's statement was heard loud and clear. Revenue jumped 6.2% to $270.9 million, helped by strong demand for each of the company's three main segments, which includes licenses, service and maintenance. Equally impressive was that revenue in the U.S. and Europe advanced 11% and 12% year over year, respectively. What's more, Tibco has figured out ways to differentiate itself from Oracle and IBM, with Tibco's CEO Vivek Ranadive stating proudly, "We won every single deal." In other words, even though Tibco's prices were moderately higher than some of its rivals, the company was able to convince customers why its products were better. So, unlike the June quarter where Tibco lost business due to price, management has been working to grow Tibco's capabilities in areas like real-time business intelligence, visualization and complex event processing. These are technologies that are specifically targeted to capitalize on the growth of big data. With revenue growing more than 6% compared to Oracle's 2%, clearly customers are responding.
As noted, Tibco is still in the midst of restructuring its business. So I'm not suggesting the company is completely out the woods yet. In that regard, bears are correct to point out that the company is still experiencing some margin weakness. That gross margin narrowed to 71.2% from 71.7%, while total operating expenses jumped 12%, is a perfect example of the work there is left to do at Tibco. Even though I've been bullish on this stock for several quarters, to say Tibco's growth improvements weren't surprising wouldn't be true. Granted profits are still unspectacular. But there's no denying that management's recent investments in the cloud and data analytics have begun to pay off. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.