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HP shatters 3Q forecasts, sets stock split

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) tore past analyst forecasts in the third quarter.

After market close Wednesday, the technology company reported fiscal third quarter net income of $1.1 billion from operations. HP reported earnings of 97 cents per share, excluding equity gains. First Call's survey of 20 analysts predicted a profit of 85 cents per share for HP's quarter ended July 31.

HP also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, payable Oct.27 to shareholders of Sept. 27 record. It will be the sixth stock split for HP since going public in 1977.

Including equity income, HP in the third quarter earned 99 cents per share.

Third quarter revenue increased 14.6 percent year-over-year to $11.8 billion from $10.3 billion. IT services led growth with a 17 percent year-over-year increase to $1.82 billion from $1.55 billion.

Computing systems generated $5.17 billion in revenue, up 12 percent from $4.63 billion in the comparable period a year earlier. Unix server revenue increased 13 percent, with unit orders rising 43 percent. Home PC revenue gained 62 percent. Notebook sales grew 93 percent.

Imaging and printing revenue rose 15 percent year-over-year to $4.81 billion from $4.19 billion. PhotoSmart and All-in-One products fueled much of the growth, said Carly Fiorina, CEO and chairman of HP.

"We’re benefiting from and, in fact, driving the shift to color printing in the office," said Carly Fiorina, CEO and president. "This, along with digital photography and the Internet, is pushing more pages to the printer and fueling our supplies business."

U.S. business grew to $5.3 billion, up 13 percent from the year-ago period. European revenue increased 8 percent to $3.8 billion. Asia Pacific revenue rose 36 percent to $1.8 billion. Latin American sales gained 27 percent to $600 million.

Shares of HP rose 9 to 120 in Wednesday's regular trading.>