Hewlett-Packard Sees 2009 Revenue Up 5%-6%

Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest personal computer maker, said Tuesday it expects revenue and profit margins to increase in 2009 as it cuts costs and grows internally and through acquisitions.

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

HP , which is hosting a meeting with analysts, said it sees fiscal year 2009 revenue growth of 5 percent to 6 percent to about $117.1 billion to $118.2 billion. Analysts, on average, expect fiscal 2009 revenue of $117.8 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of HP were little changed at $52 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The revenue forecast assumes about $1 billion annually in acquisitions, Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak told analysts and investors at the briefing in New York.

HP, based in Palo Alto, California, forecast a 2009 profit of $3.74 to $3.84 a share before certain costs, compared with analysts' estimate of $3.78 on that basis.

HP's operating profit margin, the percentage of revenue remaining after costs of goods and operating expenses, will rise to 10 percent to 10.4 percent in 2009, HP said. HP reported an operating profit margin, excluding certain costs, of 9.2 percent in its fiscal 2007, ended Oct. 31.

The company, led by Chief Executive Mark Hurd, has eliminated about 15,000 jobs since 2005 and consolidated data centers and real estate even as it spends billions of dollars to acquire software companies, its fastest-growing business.

HP said on Tuesday it expects revenue from software to grow 15 percent to 20 percent in fiscal 2009, while its PC business should grow 5 percent to 7 percent with operating profit margins of 5 percent to 5.5 percent.

Last month, HP reported better-than-expected quarterly results as it sold more laptop computers in retail stores outside the United States, helping extend its market-share lead over Dell, the No. 2 PC maker.

HP said last month it expected 2008 fiscal first-quarter revenue of $27.4 billion to $27.5 billion and earnings before certain costs of 80 cents per share. For all of fiscal 2008, HP in November forecast revenue of $111.5 billion and earnings per share before items of $3.32 to $3.37.