RealTime IT News

HP Stands Tall

HP on Tuesday delivered a rarity for a tech bellwether this year: quarterly results that didn't disappoint Wall Street.

HP's shares rose 3% in after-hours trading after the company reported April quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, a nickel ahead of analysts' estimates. Sales of $22.55 billion were a little less than Wall Street was looking for, but after a string of high-profile technology disappointments in recent weeks, the results were good enough.

"HP delivered another solid quarter," HP CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement. "We grew revenue, expanded margins and generated record cash flow. At the same time, we continued to remain focused on executing our strategy and investing in the company's long-term success."

With HP's growth — and the sale of IBM's PC unit — HP is on pace to become the biggest tech company in terms of sales this year. Analysts expect $91 billion in 2006 sales for HP, compared to $90.6 billion for IBM.

Personal systems group sales were up 10% to $7 billion. Imaging and printing revenues climbed 5% to $6.7 billion. Enterprise storage and server sales were up 2% to $4.3 billion, services sales declined 2% to $3.9 billion, and software revenues rose 20% to $330 million.

HP also reaffirmed July quarter and full-year sales guidance and raised earnings guidance. The company said it plans to hire additional employees in key areas like enterprise sales.

Also after the close, Applied Materials lost ground despite beating estimates and raising guidance.

Stocks fell during the day on mixed wholesale inflation data and disappointing results from Home Depot .

The Nasdaq lost 9 to 2229, the S&P 500 fell 2 to 1292, and the Dow lost 9 to 11,419. Volume declined to 2.32 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 2.07 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 16-15 on the NYSE, and by a handful of issues on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 54% on the NYSE, and 65% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 43-123 on the NYSE, and 79-106 on the Nasdaq.

Agilent and Rediff fell on their results.

Cognos tumbled 13% after delaying its annual report.

IDT surged 14% on a deal with Liberty Media .