Hewlett-Packard tops 3Q net income expectations, misses revenue estimates



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SAN FRANCISCO — Hewlett-Packard Co. reported sales and profit fell in the last quarter, and its stock slipped further in late trading Thursday after the giant computer-maker issued a forecast for the October quarter that was lower than Wall Street expected.

The results showed HP is still struggling with a host of challenges as it prepares to split into two companies later this year.

HP reported net income of $854 million for its fiscal third quarter, down 13 percent from a year earlier, as sales fell 8 percent to $25.35 billion. The company has seen year-over-year revenue declines in all but one quarter for the last four years.

Earnings for the quarter, which ended July 31, were slightly better than Wall Street estimates. HP said its earnings amounted to 47 cents per diluted share, or 88 cents per diluted share after adjusting for one-time gains and costs. The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for adjusted earnings of 85 cents per share.

Revenue fell short of analysts' expectations, however. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $25.64 billion.

HP, based in Palo Alto, California, is one of the world's leading sellers of personal computers, printers, commercial data center hardware and tech services. But after several years of weak performance, the company is spending billions of dollars on restructuring as it prepares to split into two separate corporations — one focused on PCs and printers, and the other selling commercial tech products.

CEO Meg Whitman contends the split will leave each spinoff in better position to compete in their respective markets.

HP has been shaken by several years of management turnover and major shifts in the tech market. Consumers are buying fewer PCs and printers, while business customers are shifting to a "cloud computing" model that lowers the cost of software and reduces the need for massive, in-house computer centers to run their operations.

HP shares have declined 32 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has dropped 1 percent. Shares closed Thursday at $27.35, down 1.4 percent for the day.

The stock fell another 1 percent in late trading after the company issued its financial report and forecast adjusted earnings for the current quarter to range from 92 cents to 98 cents a share. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $1 a share for the current quarter, according to FactSet.

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Elements of this story were contributed by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on HPQ at http://www.zacks.com/ap/HPQ

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Keywords: Hewlett-Packard, Earnings Report

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