Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Shares in (NYSE: RHT) hit a new 52-week high of $36.58 on Thursday following an upgrade from Wall Street analyst firm Piper Jaffray.

RHT closed Thursday at $36.54. More than 2.5 million shares were traded.

Shares in the world’s top Linux software developer and services provider surged 2.7 percent topped the previous high of $36.44 set on Wednesday as shares across the major U.S. exchanges rose. Red Hat had ended the day at $35.65.

In recent weeks, Red Hat shares have rallied. As recently as July 1, shares closed at $28.20.

Some rumors have continued to circulate that Red Hat may be a takeover target.

Its 52-week low is $22.19.

On Friday, shares immediately rallied after Piper Jaffray issued a research note that boosted its target price for Red Hat to $40 from $37.

The firm also stood by its “overweight” rating on the stock.

The reason for the boost was a survey of Red Hat partners.

"Our survey of 45 RHT partners reveals that customers are more frequently using Red Hat in place of Microsoft Windows (Nasdaq: MSFT). Essentially half of the surveyed partners, including some of the largest OEMs, indicate their customers are increasingly using Red Hat for what would have otherwise been Windows Server workloads,” StreetInsider quoted the note as saying.

Red Hat earlier this week named Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff, as its chairman. Matthew Szulik retired as chairman on Aug. 12. Shelton has been a member of the Red Hat board since 2003.

Red Hat said it will report its latest quarterly earnings on Wednesday, Sept. 22, after the markets close.

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