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Profits surge despite being late-comer to e-commerce

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Hewlett-Packard turned in surging second-quarter profits at over $900 million, bolstered by strong PC and printer sales. The figures topped analysts’ expectations, recording earnings of $918 million, for the three months ended 30 April. This was up on last year’s $685 million. Sales grew 3.3 per cent to $12.4 billion, and orders were up 10 per cent. The company said commercial and consumer PCs boosted revenue growth, and PC servers, mobile products and home PCs were particularly strong. "This is the third consecutive quarter that we’ve exceeded street expectations," said Lew Platt, HP chairman and CEO. "We had solid net earnings in PCs, strong profit performance in printing and imaging, and significant profit improvement in our measurement business. Clearly, our challenge is to convert order growth into stronger growth in revenue." HP shares thrived on the news, increasing $4.56 to a 52-week high of $88.75. According to Reuters, HP stock had risen about 25 per cent this year amid optimism that the company could solve its financial woes and general rallying of technology stocks. HP has been criticised in the past for dragging its feet over incorporating the Web into its business. It recently announced a $100 million investment to advertise its "e-services" offerings. ®

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