Fueled by record growth in software revenue, business software giant SAP (SAP) more than doubled its third-quarter operating profits and reaffirmed the higher end of its 2011 guidance.

The news sent U.S.-listed shares of the Walldorf, Germany-based company rallying more than 2% ahead of Friday’s opening bell.

SAP, which is the world’s largest maker of business software, said it earned 1.76 billion euros ($2.42 billion) last quarter, up from just 716 million euros a year earlier.

The company said software and software-related services sales leaped 16% to 2.69 billion euros. Total sales jumped 14% to 3.41 billion euros, topping forecasts from analysts of 3.32 billion euros.

“The record quarter was driven by strong results across all regions,” co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe said in a statement. “Innovative software matters more than ever and we are at the forefront of this trend.”

Looking ahead, SAP said it still sees full-year non-IFRS software and software-related service revenue growth of 10% to 14%, but now anticipates it to be at the high end of that range.

On the heels of the upbeat results, shares of SAP jumped 2.19% to $57.39 ahead of Friday’s opening bell. Rival Oracle (ORCL) rallied 1.32% to $31.55 and Microsoft (MSFT) gained 0.74% to $27.38.

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