HP Does It Again

HP reported quarterly results late Wednesday that were slightly ahead of the company’s upbeat outlook delivered just last week.

HP’s sales rose 13% from the year-ago quarter to $25.5 billion, and pro form earnings came out to 70 cents a share, both just ahead of revised estimates. HP also offered current quarter and full-year guidance that was in line with analysts’ forecasts.

45% growth in notebook sales were a big factor in the company’s strong quarter, as were strong server and software sales, the latter thanks to the addition of Mercury Interactive.

“This was a strong performance for HP,” CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement. “We generated $3 billion of revenue growth, continued to expand earnings and achieved record cash flow from operations. While we still have considerable work ahead of us, I am confident we can continue to execute with discipline and deliver strong financial returns.”

HP shares tacked on 1% in late trading on the news.

Also after the close, Sun rose 4% on a $3 billion share buyback, and Amazon fell on digital music plans.

Stocks rallied once again Wednesday on strong industrial production data and renewed takeover speculation, as traders shook off weak orders at Applied Materials and the latest disappointing housing data.

Agile Software jumped 12% on a buyout deal with Oracle .

Dell shares jumped on a New York state legal action that wasn’t as bad as feared.

Compuware and CommVault jumped on their earnings reports, while GoAmerica , Photronics and Salary.com fell on their results.

The Nasdaq gained 22 to 2547, the S&P 500 climbed 13 to 1514, and the Dow rose 103 to 13,487. Volume declined to 2.92 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.17 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by a 20-12 margin on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 71% on the NYSE, and 68% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 170-35 on the NYSE, and 116-117 on the Nasdaq.

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