Hewlett-Packard Raises EPS Guidance After Solid Earnings; Investors Expected More

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Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) reported fiscal first-quarter results after markets closed Thursday evening. For the quarter the hardware maker reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.90 and $28.2 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, HP reported EPS of $0.82 on revenue of $28.4 billion. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.84 and $27.19 billion in revenue.

Third-quarter adjusted earnings do not include charges of $317 million related to the amortization of intangible assets and $0.16 a share on restructuring and acquisition-related costs. On a GAAP basis, EPS totaled $0.74 in the first quarter.

For the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, HP forecast adjusted EPS in a range of $0.85 to $0.89. For the full year the company raised its estimated range for adjusted EPS from $3.55 to $3.75 to a new range of $3.60 to $3.75. The consensus estimates for the first quarter are EPS of $0.89 on revenues of $26.93 billion and for the full year EPS is forecast at $3.67 on revenues of $109.25 billion. The consensus EPS estimate remains near the midpoint of HP’s new range, so that shouldn’t have much impact on the share price.

HP’s estimated full-year adjusted EPS for 2014 does not include $0.75 per share in restructuring and expected write-downs.

The company’s CEO said:

HP is in a stronger position today than we’ve been in quite some time. The progress we’re making is reflected in growth across several parts of our portfolio, the growing strength of our balance sheet, and the strong support we’re receiving from customers and channel partners. Innovation is igniting our comeback, and at a time when many of our competitors are confronting new challenges, two years of turnaround work is setting us up for an exciting future.

Looking briefly at operating margins, for the first quarter consolidated operating margin rose 0.9% year-over-year. Net earnings were up 16% and GAAP net EPS was up 17%. Really the only weak news is that revenues were down 1%.

Shares of HP were down about 0.8% in after-hours trading Thursday, at $29.95 in a 52-week range of $16.57 to $30.28. The high was posted in the closing minutes. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $30.00 before these results were announced. The consensus price target has risen $5 since the end of the previous quarter.

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