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Hewlett-Packard Raises Guidance For Second-Quarter Results

CNBC.com
Tuesday, 8 May 2007 | 1:14 PM ET

Hewlett-Packardon Tuesday raised its forecast for second-quarter revenue and earnings, citing strong results from its personal computer and servers businesses.

The world's biggest maker of personal computers and printers now expects to post revenue of $25.5 billion to $25.55 billion in the second quarter, which is about about $1 billion more than it previously forecast and well-ahead of revenue in the period a year ago.

The company forecast GAAP earnings of 64 to 65 cents a share -- up from its previous forecast of 57 cents to 58 cents. As for non-GAAP earnings, it forecast 69 cents to 70 cents a share -- up from its previous estimate of 63 cents to 64 cents.

Shares of the company climbed in early trading.

Hewlett-Packard, whose PC business includes desktop PCs, workstations and notebook computers, said it moved to publicly update its guidance after it inadvertently disclosed some financial information through an internal e-mail sent Monday evening to a single outside party.

CNBC's Jim Goldman reports that the gaffe was overshadowed by the positive news that slipped out.

"At the end of the day, they are pre-announcing their results and I don't necessarily think it's all that embarrassing," Brent Bracelin of Pacific Crest Securities told CNBC's Goldman. "It's not like they are announcing bad news. The fact they are actually sharing good news, that revenue was $1 billion above expectations, earnings were 5-cents above expectations, I wouldn't call that embarrassing."

The increased outlook comes as HP has recently been taking market share from longtime rival Dell , which has stumbled in recent quarters; founder Michael Dell took over as CEO again, replacing Kevin Rollins.

For the third quarter, Hewlett-Packard forecast revenue of about $23.7 billion to $23.9 billion, non-GAAP EPS in the range of 63 cents to 65 cents, and GAAP diluted EPS in the range of 59 cents to 61 cents.

HP's strength follows a much better-than-expected earnings report from Microsoft two weeks ago, enjoying robust sales of its Vista operating system, CNBC's Goldman added.

"HP puts the exclamation point on that story, and that actually bodes well for Dell, Intel and even AMD," Goldman reports. "There was so much concern that Vista wasn't selling as well as analysts had projected. But now there are some key metrics that would suggest otherwise."

HP's outperformance suggests there is still room for the company to outperform the fundamentals, added Bracelin.

"The problem is that it does reflect a lot of the optimism already," Bracelin said. "At this point, we do think there are better opportunities outside of HP but credit the company and management team for continuing to outperfom the relatively low expectations that they have set out there."

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