HP previews strong fourth-quarter earnings

In a sneak peek of earnings reports scheduled for November 23, company says while revenue is down, earnings per share are up 15 percent from a year ago.

On the heels of announcing its acquisition of 3Com, Hewlett-Packard also gave a sneak peek at its fourth-quarter earnings.

Though not scheduled to officially announce earnings until November 23, HP said Wednesday it expects to report revenue of $30.8 billion for the quarter on earnings of 99 cents per share. (Excluding one-time charges, it would have earned $1.14 per share.) While revenue was down 8 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, earnings were up from 84 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.12 per share and revenue of $29.8 billion.

"Solid execution drove exceptional performance for HP this quarter, fueled by significant growth in China," HP Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement Wednesday. "We are delivering on our strategy and are well positioned going into 2010."

The company also raised its outlook for 2010. For the first quarter, HP is estimating $29.6 to $29.9 billion in revenue, and earnings between $1.03 and $1.05 per share excluding 13 cents per share of after-tax costs and charges related to restructuring and acquisitions.

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