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HP's Challenge to Cisco

A busy afternoon on a typically quiet Veteran's Day with Hewlett-Packard announcing after the bell that it would acquire 3Com for $2.7B or $7.90 a share.

Perhaps the bigger news, was HP raising it's guidance and pre-announcing its Q4 results. HP announced preliminary Q4 EPS of $1.14 per share on a non-GAAP basis and revenues of $30.8B. The company also raised its 2010 EPS forecast by $0.05 to the range of $3.65-$3.75 and also its revenue guidance to between $118B and $119B.Overall, the 3Com transaction is HP's fourth largest acquisition and one that will transform the networking industry, making it the second largest networking company behind Cisco Systems.

In an exclusive interview on Closing Bell, HP's Executive Vice President of Enterprise Business Ann Livermore provided more detail behind the deal.

Bartiromo: Tell me what's behind it. What does this do for HP shareholders?

Livermore: Well, we think this is going to be just a great deal for HP shareholders, but just as important for our customers. Customers have been complaining that networking is complicated, that it's proprietary and it's too expensive. So we're ready to bring some great value to our customers.

Bartiromo: And how does that value come about? Tell me what customers will see in terms of change as a result of this deal.

Livermore: Well, this deal makes HP the number two networking company in the world, and customers have been dealing with an industry that's been dominated by one single vendor.

Liza Tan contributed to this report.

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