Software maker VMware Inc reported profit ahead of Wall Street expectations and released an outlook ahead of some forecasts, raising hopes that technology spending will grow this year, even as some warn that the economic outlook is grim.

The results surprised some investors who were concerned that VMware might miss forecasts after recent disappointments by rivals Oracle Corp and Inc .

VMware beat the numbers and they beat them in a very challenging environment, said Trip Chowdhry, analyst with Global Equities Research.

A division of storage giant EMC Corp , the software maker posted fourth-quarter profit, excluding items, of 62 cents per share, ahead of the 60 cent average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 27 percent from a year ago to $1.06 billion, compared with the analyst forecast of $1.05 billion.

VMware forecast that full-year revenue will rise to between $4.48 billion and $4.6 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $4.5 billion.

The company's shares were quoted at $90.39 in after-hours trading, up 5.1 percent from their New York Stock Exchange close of $86.

(Reporting By Jim Finkle; Editing by Bernard Orr)