RealTime IT News

HP, AMAT See Growth Returning

HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) delivered big news after the stock market closed today — and HP's acquisition of 3Com (NASDAQ: COMS) was only part of the news.

Both companies announced better than expected quarterly results — and said that growth will return in 2010.

HP reported an 8 percent decline in sales to $30.8 billion — $1 billion better than Wall Street analysts expected. HP forecast a roughly 4 percent bump in sales next year to $118 billion to $119 billion, in line to above the Thomson Reuters consensus forecast.

Applied Materials, meanwhile, predicted 30 percent sales growth over the next year, 1 percent more than anticipated. AMAT's current quarter sales were down sharply to $1.53 billion, but that was $200 million better than forecasts.

Shares of both companies were little changed in after-hours trading, while 3Com was up by about 35 percent. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), which is suddenly facing greater competition from HP, was off by 1 percent.

Stocks finished the day with modest gains, led higher by Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA), Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) and Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC).

Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) ended the day lower, however, falling on news of job cuts.

The Nasdaq rose 15 to 2166, the S&P 500 added 5 to 1098, and the Dow rose 44 to 10,291. Volume declined to 4.29 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.89 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 19-11 margin on the NYSE, and 16-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 65 percent on the NYSE, and 73 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 286-38 on the NYSE, and 119-37 on the Nasdaq.