Hewlett-Packard Co. raised its fiscal 2011 revenue and earnings forecasts after strong commercial computer and storage sales led to better-than-expected quarterly results.
Shares in the No. 1 U.S. technology company by sales climbed 1.6 per cent. The bellwether did not appear to show any ill effects from the internal turmoil that has enveloped the company since August, beginning with the abrupt departure of former chief Mark Hurd.
"These are very encouraging results. First glance, things look very solid," said Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall.
Wall Street, however, is less focused on HP's results than they are on getting a better fix on new chief executive officer Leo Apotheker, who started Nov. 1, analysts say.
Mr. Apotheker joked on a conference call with the media that he may have set a world record for travel over past weeks as he jets around the globe to familiarize himself with HP's sprawling business.
He provided few details about his vision for HP except to reaffirm that software, a tiny slice of the company's business, and research spending will be a central theme.
"We do all feel that we do need to have a strong and viable and vibrant software business," Mr. Apotheker said.
Some analysts say his most immediate task may be to restore stability and poise following a tumultuous four months that saw Mr. Hurd's departure and a nasty spat with one-time partner Oracle Corp.
HP's fiscal fourth-quarter results are another opportunity for Mr. Apotheker, a former SAP AG CEO, to make an impression on the analysts and investors whom he so far has failed to electrify.
The world's No. 1 PC maker reported net earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Oct. 31 of $2.54-billion (U.S.), or $1.10 a share, up from $2.41-billion, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.33 a share, better than the average analyst estimate of $1.27 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 8 per cent to $33.3-billion, above Wall Street's estimate of $32.75-billion.
The company also raised its fiscal 2011 forecast. It now expects earnings excluding items of $5.16 to $5.26 a share on revenue of $132-billion to $133.5-billion.
Shares of Palo Alto, California-based HP closed at $43.25 and rose to $43.94 in extended trading.
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HPQ-N 21.31 0.20
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ORCL-Q 34.1799 -0.92
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SAP-N 78.82 -0.75