The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is expected to impress Wall Street analysts and investors when it announces quarterly financials after the markets close on Wednesday.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast that the world’s top Linux software developer and services provider will report $310.7 million in revenues with profits of 27 cents per share.

If Red Hat hits those marks, they would be improvements of 17 percent and 13 percent respectively from a year ago.

Gregg Moskowitz, an analyst at Cowen & Co., said in a report Tuesday that he expected good news from the Hatters.

“Despite heightened macro concerns we expect a solid over 1Q with some likely upside to street billings forecasts,” he said in a report, which was cited by Investor’s Business Daily. “We believe Red Hat remains very well positioned to enjoy healthy growth for the foreseeable future.”

Over at UBS Securities, Brent Thill noted that Red Hat “remains in a good spot.”

At Zacks, Red Hat is expected to be a “surprise” – on the plus side.

“Red Hat has matched or exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the four preceding quarters,” the investor services said. “The average surprise in these quarters is a positive 12.94%, and for the current quarter we expect the company to beat the Zacks Consensus by the same magnitude.”

Zacks sees continued growth for Red Hat in “cloud computing” and virtualization as well as its marquee products Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss middleware.

Red Hat shares closed at $56.92, up 36 cents, on Tuesday. RHT is up nearly 40 percent so far this year but is trading below a recent high of $62.41 back on May 3. RHT did dip below $50 recently, trading at $49.45 on June 4.

Analysts overall continue to like the stock.

Seven rate it as a “strong buy,” up from five three months ago.

Eleven rate RHT a “buy,” up from 10 the previous quarter.

Seven rate Red Hat as a “hold” vs. six three months earlier.

Two list RHT as a “hold,” which is unchanged over three months.

None rate it as a “sell.”

[RED HAT ARCHIVE: Check out a decade of Red Hat stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]