HP Q1 profit flat as revenue rises

HP's first quarter revenue was up 10 percent, while earnings remained flat, the company reported Wednesday.

One week after firing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday reported earnings that fell slightly short of Wall Street's expectations and revenue numbers that surpassed them.

The computer maker's revenue for the quarter, which ended Jan. 31, was US$21.5 billion, up 10 percent from US$19.5 billion its year-earlier quarter, but profit remained flat. HP reported net earnings of US$943 million for the quarter, up slightly from the US$936 million it reported in 2004.

Earnings per share were US$0.32, up from the year-earlier figure of US$0.30, when calculated using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

There is "work to be done to improve our profitability," said a written statement attributed to Robert Wayman, the company's chief financial officer, who is also serving as interim CEO.

Wall Street had been expecting revenue of just under US$21 billion and earnings per share of US$0.34, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson First Call.

HP's Technology Solutions Group, which sells the company's enterprise hardware, software and services offerings, continued to be a drag on profitability. The business unit's operating profit was US$312 million for the quarter, down from the year-earlier figure of US$365 million.

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