Hewlett-Packard needed to wow Wall Street and the company delivered the goods tonight, beating the Street by a penny a share with 91 cents on better than expected revenue of $27.45 billion against the $27.3 billion consensus.
Pacific Crest's Brent Bracelin calls the numbers a "sigh of relief," but the good news might only be just beginning for the world's largest personal computer maker. HP now expects $1.12 in earnings per share for its fourth quarter, the all-important back-to-school shopping quarter for HP, versus the $1.07 consensus, on an 8 percent sequential increase in revenue. Some on the Street were looking for something closer to 10 percent, but the outlook is considered positive.
Mark Hurd, the company's CEO, told our Maria Bartiromo just after the numbers were released that HP executed on a number of different fronts, that cash flow was up 15 percent during the third quarter, and the company enjoyed double digit growth in China.
On a unit by unit basis, the Enterprise Storage and Servers business did a surprisingly robust $3.7 billion; the Services business, $8.5 billion; Software, $847 million; the Personal Systems Group, $8.4 billion; and Imaging and Printing $5.7 billion.
HP shares are now up something like 15 days in a row, and tonight's report continues a string of meeting or beating on the bottom line that stretches back to the July quarter in 2004. Today's report builds on tech momentum already from Cisco, Intel, IBM, Google, Apple and many others, and should go a long way toward proving that tech will indeed be the sector to pull this country out of recession.
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