August 26, 2008

Dow Industrial Firms: Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s fiscal third-quarter profit jumped 14 percent, beating Wall Street's expectations, as strong laptop sales and a robust international presence lifted the technology bellwether. The California-based company's results, reported after the market closed yesterday, signaled that HP is holding its ground as the world's No. 1 seller of personal computers even with stronger competition from Dell Inc. and Apple Inc. and aggressive price cuts.

HP said it earned $2.03 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the latest period, up from $1.78 billion, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time charges, HP's profit was 86 cents per share, 3 cents higher than the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Sales were $28 billion, a 10 percent increase from last year and higher than the $27.4 billion analysts were expecting.

HP's optimism about its prospects despite a tough economic environment in the U.S. and parts of Europe helped lift the stock.

HP shares rose $1.25, or 2.9 percent, to $44.94 in after-hours trading after the results were reported. The stock had fallen 91 cents, or 2 percent, to $43.69 during the regular trading session.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot Inc. said yesterday that its second-quarter profit sank 24 percent and reiterated its downbeat outlook for the year amid a weak housing market that shows no signs of recovery.

For the three months that ended Aug. 3, the nation's largest home- improvement chain said its net income fell to $1.2 billion, or 71 cents per share. That's down from $1.59 billion, or 81 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Revenue slid 5.4 percent to $21 billion. Same-store sales, an important retail industry metric of sales at stores opened at least a year, fell 7.9 percent.

The results handily beat expectations as do-it-yourselfers began to take their hammers and paint brushes out of retirement.

Home Depot shares fell $1, or 3.7 percent, to $25.96.



Originally published by The Associated Press.

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