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RALEIGH, N.C. – (NYSE: RHT) Chief Financial Officer Charlie Peters had plenty of positive news to discuss Wednesday in a conference call about the Raleigh-based firm’s quarterly earnings.

Profits and revenues exceeded Wall Street expectations. ()

In this excerpt of the conference call as provided by Seeking Alpha, Peters discusses Red Hat’s growth over the past 12 months despite the global recession.

“In the worst global economic conditions that any of us have faced in our lifetime, Red Hat has continued to grow and thrive.

“We are looking forward in our new fiscal year to continued improvement in the economic environment and the positive effect it will have on our business. During this downturn we have stayed tightly focused on open source infrastructure software, services and our customers and we have executed relentlessly on engineering, sales and operational initiatives. These efforts have paid off.

“Today we are reporting strong growth which exceeded our expectations for the quarter and the year. [Chief executive officer Jim Whitehurst] mentioned a number of highlights including strong quarterly bookings and billings which led to 18% Q4 revenue growth and 21% Q4 subscription revenue growth, 100 basis points of annual operating margin improvement and record GAAP operating cash flow of $78 million for the quarter and $255 million for the year. Importantly we accomplished these quarterly and annual results while continuing to invest for the future.

“For example, while other companies were cutting back this year, we added over 20% to engineering staffing, 13% to sales staffing and a few people in other functions, totaling over 350 new employees. We expanded 13 of our international offices and three U.S. offices. We commissioned a new data center. We continued to improve processes and systems and we launched a number of new products that expand our addressable markets. As a result we believe we are ready for more growth.

“Once again we added thousands of new customers globally through our direct sales and multiple other routes to market. We have worked to further improve relationships with the global OEMs and have found that recent structural changes in this industry have brought most of them close to us. …

“We are pleased to report another record quarter for both bookings and billing. We saw significant growth within our core verticals. As a reminder those are government, financials, telecom and tech/media as well as large deals in other mainstream segments as Jim mentioned. …

“We had 18 deals at or over $1 million, one of which was free to pay. We had three deals over $5 million. Eight of these deals included a JBoss component. Two of them were more than $1 million in JBoss alone. Finally, more than 60% of the top 30 deals had a [Red Hat Enterprise Linux] advanced platform component.”