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IOL pic feb21 HewlettPackard

Reuters

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Palo Alto -

Hewlett-Packard Company on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street's forecasts, mainly on the surprising strength personal computer sales to businesses.

But the company may have benefited from a one-time bump from companies upgrading to Windows 7 and buying new machines for employees before Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP in April.

The Palo Alto, California, company's outlook for the second quarter was slightly below forecasts, while its full-year outlook was mostly in line.

“My concern is that they perhaps pulled forward some demand,” said Bill Kreher, an analyst with financial advisory firm Edward Jones. “That is why their earnings outlook for the second quarter is not as high as perhaps some were hoping for.”

Net income in the quarter through January 31 rose 16 percent to $1.43 billion, or 74 cents per share, from $1.23 billion, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring and other charges, adjusted earnings came to 90 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 85 cents.

Revenue dipped 1 percent to $28.15 billion, but was flat excluding currency effects. Analysts expected $27.20 billion.

Personal computer sales rose 4 percent to $8.53 billion, bucking a global decline. Research firm Gartner said last month that global PC shipments fell 7 in the final three months of 2013 as consumers bought more tablets and smartphones. International Data Corporation put the drop at 6 percent.

HP expects second-quarter adjusted earnings of 85 to 89 cents per share. The midpoint of that range is below the 89 cents analysts were forecasting. It expects full-year adjusted earnings of $3.60 to $3.75 per share, with the midpoint slightly above the $3.66 analysts were expecting.

Its shares rose 6 cents to $30.25 in after-hours trading following the release of results, after closing up 74 cents, or 2.5 percent, at $30.19 in the regular session. - Sapa-AP


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