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HP tops estimates, reports strong revenue growth

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) easily topped Wall Street estimates Tuesday and met its promise to deliver strong revenue growth.

After the closing bell, HP reported second quarter earnings of 87 cents a share, a nickel better than First Call Corp. consensus estimates. The results exclude one-time items such as equity gains and charges.

Company executives were pleased with the results.

"The pendulum is swinging in the right direction," Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina said, during a conference call with analysts.

Revenue from continuing operations jumped 15 percent for the quarter ending April 30. Revenue from continuing operations was $12 billion, up from $10.5 billion a year ago. More importantly, HP put together two consecutive quarters of good growth.

Including one-time items, the company reported earnings of $899 million, or 79 cents a share. Charges included expenses related to HP's early retirement program, the spin-off of Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A) and equity gains.

In the second quarter a year ago, HP reported earnings of $766 million, or 73 cents a share.

In a statement, HP chief Carly Fiorina said the company is accelerating its customer win rate. "Operationally, we're stronger, more efficient and more effective," she said. "We held the line on expenses, which grew at an adjusted rate of 8 percent over last year."

The company also said it was confident about its Unix business and saw strong growth in its PC business. HP said it saw unit growth of 57 percent in the quarter.

HP's notebook sales, up 180 percent, and consumer business, up 30 percent, also showed strong gains.

As for the outlook, Fiorina said the company can develop "consistent and profitable double-digit growth on an ongoing basis."

HP, which previously announced goals of revenue growth ranging between 12 and 15 percent in the current fiscal year, now expects to hit the high end of that range, executives told analysts.

Across geographies, HP said revenue in the United States was $5.3 billion, up 17 percent from a year ago. Revenue outside the U.S. was 56 percent of total sales, and up 14 percent to $6.7 billion. In Europe sales were up 5 percent with Asia Pacific and Latin America sales jumping 37 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

By product, HP said printer and imaging device sales surged 13 percent. Computing systems sales were up 19 percent from a year ago. Unix server revenue was up 26 percent with orders gaining 32 percent. Home PC sales were up 85 percent. Services sales were up 12 percent.