HP's profit rises slightly, thanks to printers

February 17, 2005|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

PALO ALTO, Calif. - A week after ousting Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carleton S. "Carly" Fiorina for failing to produce the profits she promised, Hewlett-Packard Co. reported yesterday that its fiscal first-quarter earnings were little changed. Revenue rose on holiday printer sales.

Net income increased to $943 million, or 32 cents a share, from $936 million, or 30 cents, in the first quarter a year ago, HP said. Sales rose 9.9 percent to $21.5 billion from $19.51 billion, slightly beating analysts' estimates for the quarter that ended Jan. 31.

HP, the world's largest printer maker and No. 2 personal-computer company, struggled to boost sales and profit as Dell Inc. became the biggest PC maker and began selling printers. Fiorina's failure to stem that threat after the $18.9 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002, along with lagging profits, led to her ouster.

Profit before some one-time items was 37 cents a share.

Second-quarter profit will be 35 cents to 37 cents a share on sales of $21.2 billion to $21.6 billion, the company predicted.

HP missed analysts' estimates three times in the past eight quarters.

HP shares dipped 6 cents to $21.06 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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