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Hewlett-Packard Profit Up 21%, Edging Forecasts

CNBC.com
Monday, 19 Nov 2007 | 5:03 PM ET

Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest personal computer maker, reported a better-than-expected 28 percent rise in quarterly profit as notebook PC sales increa

Hewlett-Packard's headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
AP
Hewlett-Packard's headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

sed.

The company also said its board authorized an additional $8 billion share buyback.

Excluding one-time items, HP said it had net income of $2.3 billion, or 86 cents a share, on sales of $28.3 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with earnings of $1.9 billion, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $24.56 billion a year ago.

Analysts, on average, were expecting fourth-quarter revenue of $27.4 billion and earnings per share before items of 82 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

On a GAAP basis, net income was $2.16 billion, or 81 cents per share, compared with $1.7 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew to $28.3 billion from $24.6 billion.

HP, led by Chief Executive Mark Hurd, has cut costs and expanded high-profit businesses such as software and technology services. In July, it said it would buy Opsware Inc for $1.6 billion to bolster its business of helping companies manage computer systems.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company forecast fiscal first-quarter earnings per share before items of 80 cents and revenue ranging from $27.4 billion to $27.5 billion. Analysts, on average, expect first-period earnings before items of 77 cents and revenue of $27.04 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the full 2008 fiscal year, HP forecast earnings per share of $3.32 to $3.37 before items and revenue of about $111.5 billion. Analysts, on average, expect full-year earnings of $3.26 per share and revenue of $109.8 billion.

HP saw no change in spending from financial-services customers in its fiscal fourth quarter, Chief Executive Mark Hurd said.

"We do not have a huge exposure to the financial services industry," Hurd told reporters on a conference call after HP, the world's largest personal computer maker, reported fiscal fourth-quarter results. "We saw no change in spending in financial services in the quarter."

Hurd also said that pricing for its products "was actually fine" in the period and that lower component costs helped improve the company's gross profit market.

HP Earnings
HP reports 86 cents a share, and CNBC's Darby Dunn and Rob Enderlee, president of the Enderlee Group, discuss the numbers.

HP stock, up about 21 percent this year, trades at about 18 times estimated fiscal 2007 earnings per share compared with Dell's multiple of 19 and International Business Machines' 15.

HP shares rose about 1.5 percent in electronic trading Monday after closing 2.58 percent lower at $49.44 during regular market hours.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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