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Carly Fiorina, chief executive of HP, has criticised equity analysts for placing too much importance on quarterly figures. She said some analysts have unreasonable expectations of technology companies.

"I think the market has emerged from Enron and Tyco and all those scandals. It is going back rapidly to 'a quarter is everything, meeting analysts' estimates is everything'. That's a mistake. It's short-sighted," she told the FT.

But Fiorina believes there is a real recovery underway in the technology market. At the start of 2004 she predicted growth of between one and two per cent, because companies were still consolidating.

Next year she predicts growth of between four and six per cent, based on the assumption of GDP growing by around four per cent.

"The recovery is real but measured. I really think this is a change," she told the FT. "We have to bear in mind that technology is a vibrant growth industry but it's probably not boom and bust growth any more. It's probably a two times [gross domestic product] growth industry. Sometimes the analysts are persisting in a boom and bust mentality." ®

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