Something shocking occurred this week. Not only did a certain technology company announce that it's not tanking because of the economy, but -- gasp! -- its sales had actually grown.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report) won't officially announce its fiscal fourth-quarter results until Monday, but it wanted to get the good news out early: a revenue increase of 19% over the same period last year. And a better-than-expected outlook.
At a time when tech companies from Intel (INTC - Get Report) to Apple (AAPL - Get Report) are suffering from the effects of the economic slowdown, that's an impressive revenue number. And the good news is that you don't have to be in the tech biz to emulate some of H-P's strategies for success.
First, a note of caution. Dig into the small print behind that 19% increase, and you'll find that sales gains weren't quite so dramatic. If you adjust for the effects of the weak dollar overseas, revenue rose 16%. Take away the effect that came from H-P's acquisition of EDS over the summer, and revenue grew 5% from last year, or 2% when adjusted for currency effects.Still, any gain counts as good news this year. In fact, positive results from H-P were enough to lift the whole stock market. How did the company do it? In a statement, CEO Mark Hurd credited "global reach, a diverse customer base, broad portfolio and numerous cost initiatives. Our ability to execute in a challenging marketplace differentiates H-P, enabling it to increase share, expand earnings and emerge from the current economic environment as a stronger force."