HP Gives Investors Reason to Smile

HP surprised Wall Street after the close on Wednesday with much better than expected results and guidance.

The results came as a pleasant surprise after last week’s ouster of CEO Carly Fiorina.

HP’s earnings of 37 cents a share topped estimates by 3 cents, and revenues rose 0.3% to $21.45 billion, beating estimates by $500 million. The company said it sees April quarter revenues of $21.2-$21.6 billion, above $21.2 billion forecasts, and earnings guidance of 35-37 cents a share was in line with 26-cent estimates. If there was a weakness in the report, it was that gross margins fell both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year due to weaker than expected printer sales.

“HP had a solid first quarter, highlighted by strong growth and profit in our Personal Systems Group, strong revenue growth in our Services business and cash flow from operations of $1.6 billion,” CFO and interim CEO Robert Wayman said in a statement.

“While we continue to make progress in growing our top line, there is work to be done to improve our profitability,” Wayman said. “As the board conducts a CEO search, our management team is focused on driving improved execution to serve our customers, strengthen our competitiveness and improve shareholder value.”

HPQ shares rose 2% after hours.

Also after the close, Brocade beat estimates.

Stocks were mixed during the day on rising oil prices and upbeat testimony from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan that suggested the Fed isn’t done raising interest rates.

The Nasdaq slipped 1 to 2087, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 1210, and the Dow lost 2 to 10,834. Volume declined to 1.49 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-15 on the NYSE, and 16-15 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 56% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 290-14 on the NYSE, and 106-30 on the Nasdaq.

Applied Materials was unchanged despite beating estimates and raising guidance, and Network Appliance fell 7.6% on mixed guidance.

Audible plunged 35% after missing revenue estimates, while Jupitermedia tumbled 20% after beating estimates but lowering revenue guidance.

Photronics rose 7% after beating estimates, while InterActiveCorp fell 6% on its results.

Mamma.com took investors on another wild ride, this time plunging 32% after the company’s auditor resigned.

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