Shares of Red Hat (Nasdaq:RHAT) climbed to new highs today, closing up 22.5 percent to reach $17.49 a day after it posted strong quarterly profit on increased sales.

That well surpasses the previous 52-week mark of $15.45 for RHAT and is an increase of $3.21 over yesterday’s already higher close of $14.28.

Red Hat reported Thursday that net profit for the third quarter ended Nov. 30 rose to $4.1 million, or 2 cents per share, from $214,000, or break even per share, last year. Revenue increased 36 percent to $33.1 million from $24.3 million a year earlier.

Banc of America Securities upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying that Red Hat’s third-quarter subscription bookings of 33,000 and fourth-quarter booking estimate of 40,000 “blew away” estimates of 27,500 and 29,000, respectively.

According to a release from the firm, “We believe the current bookings trends are too powerful to ignore.”

SoundView and McDonald also upgraded their ratings on Red Hat shares.

Red Hat: www.redhat.com