Hewlett-Packard earnings top expectations even though revenue dips

Hewlett-Packard reported first-quarter earnings Thursday that beat analysts' expectations even as the company reported another decline in revenue. 

HP said revenue for the first quarter ending in January was $28.2 billion, down from $28.4 billion, or about 1%. That topped the $27.2 billion Wall Street expected, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue at the company has been declining for a couple of years now. However, the 1% decline is less than the 4% decline Wall Street expected, and it's less than the 6% decline HP reported a year ago.

"HP is in a stronger position today than we’ve been in quite some time," said Meg Whitman, HP's president and chief executive officer, in a statement released with the earnings. "The progress we’re making is reflected in growth across several parts of our portfolio, the growing strength of our balance sheet, and the strong support we’re receiving from customers and channel partners. Innovation is igniting our comeback, and at a time when many of our competitors are confronting new challenges, two years of turnaround work is setting us up for an exciting future." 

Profits in the quarter were $1.43 billion, or 74 cents per share, up from $1.23 billion, or 63 cents per share for the same quarter a year ago. That was short of the  a year earlier.

Not counting one-time charges, HP had adjusted earnings of 90 cents per share. The topped analysts expectation of 85 cents per share.

One pleasant surprise for investors: The company saw revenue in its personal systems (PCs, laptops, tablets) group grow to $8.5 billion from $8.2 billion one year ago. 

Sales to businesses in the quarter were also up. But all other units saw declines. 


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