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HP Still Golden
It was expected to return $1.05 a share on $29.81 billion

HP revenues were up 13% year-over-year to $30.8 billion in the fiscal second-quarter ended April 30. A favorable exchange rate tickled the percentage rate to the tune of four points and HP's recent 3Com acquisition, which closed during the quarter, contributed $50 million. Earnings were up 28% to $2.2 billion or 91 cents a share. Its operating margin worked out to 9.3%, up 0.9%.

HP was expected to return $1.05 a share on $29.81 billion.

CEO Mark Hurd called it an "exceptional quarter with strong performance across every region." Growth was called broad-based driven with enterprise systems and storage up 31% to $4.5 billion, PCs up 21% to $10 billion, and printing up 8% to $6.4 billion. Deferred purchases are starting to come back and Hurd was relatively buoyant about Europe.

CFO Cathie Lesjak said the demand environment was improving - more from SMBs than the large corporates apparently - and that HP would accelerate its strategic investment in growth.

Hurd expressed confidence in the "enormous opportunity that lies ahead" and raised the company's full-year outlook.

HP's second-quarter revenue was up 11% in the Americas to $13.5 billion, 11% in EMEA to $11.8 billion, and 19% in Asia-Pacific to $5.5 billion. HP is now getting 66% of its revenue from outside the U.S., with the BRIC countries up 25% accounting for 10% of revenues.

The company said industry standard server revenue was up a hefty 54%, while storage revenue increased 16% with the midrange EVA product line up 3%. Old-line business critical systems revenue declined 17%, while blade revenue was up 45%. The enterprise unit's operating profit was worth $571 million, or 12.6% of revenue, up from $250 million, or 7.2% of revenue, a year ago.

HP expects to field a new Superdome system probably in Q4.

PCs were up 20% in units. Notebook revenue was up 17%; desktop revenue was up 27%; and workstation revenue, largely from the financial services mob, was up 27%. The elusive commercial client revenue was up 19%, while good ole consumer revenue increased 25%. The unit's operating profit was $465 million, or 4.7% of revenue, up from $378 million, or 4.6% of revenue.

The printer unit, which hasn't been quite the gold mine it used to be lately, showed an increase of 13% in commercial hardware sales and 16% on the consumer side. Printer units were up 9%, with commercial units down 8% and consumer up 15%. Supplies were up 6%. The unit's operating profit was $1.1 billion, or 17.2% of revenue, versus $1.1 billion, or 18.2% of revenue, last year.

Hurd said he was "not thrilled" with the unit number, down 8% in lasers, but the mix was okay and laser ASPs, in part affected by commodity pricing, were up. HP figures to see a 30% increase in units this quarter and an overall stronger second half. He said demand is strong but HP wasn't able to supply it all.

Software remains sluggish for HP, down 1% to $871 million. Its Business Technology Optimization revenue increased 3%, but other software revenue was down 8%. The unit's operating profit was $162 million, or 18.6% of revenue, up from $157 million, or 17.8% of revenue.

Speaking of software Hurd said the company's proposed acquisition of Palm was for its IP, expecting to use its webOS for cloud-based printing and other "interconnected devices." He pooh-poohed it as a smartphone play.

HP's services revenue, which involves its huge acquisition of EDS, increased 2% to $8.7 billion. Infrastructure technology outsourcing revenue increased 6%, while revenue in technology services and business process outsourcing were roughly flat year-over-year. Application services revenue was down 2%. The unit's operating profit was $1.4 billion, or 15.9% of revenue, up from $1.2 billion, or 13.8% of revenue, last year.

The company said ProCurve revenue increased 31%, and HP networking overall increased 58% including the impact of the 3Com acquisition.

HP is projecting revenue this quarter of $29.7 billion-$30 billion, with GAAP earnings of 87 cents-89 cents and non-GAAP EPS of $1.05 to $1.07. For the full year HP expects revenue growth of 8%-9% with GAAP earnings of $3.76 to $3.81, down from its previous estimate of $3.79-$3.86, and non-GAAP EPS of $4.45-$4.50, up from its previous estimate of $4.37 to $4.44.

Its revenue projections do not include Palm.

It exited the quarter with $14.3 billion in the bank.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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