Spotlight: HP Reports 4% Drop in 4th-Quarter Profit

The nation's second-largest computer company cited sluggish demand for some of its computers, including workstations, for a 4% decline in quarterly profit. Palo Alto-based Hewlett-Packard Co. said it earned $648 million, or 62 cents per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, down from $678 million, or 64 cents, in the year-earlier period. But executives said they were encouraged by a 20% increase in new orders for computers overall and by slower expense growth. Shares fell $1.125 to $49.75 on NYSE.

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