Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), a technology products and services company, has been rated a buy since September 2005 on the basis of growing revenue, strong cash flow and expanding margins. Fourth-quarter profit climbed 28% from a year ago to $2.16 billion, or 81 cents a share driven by a strong performance across its business segments. Revenue increased 15% to $28.29 billion, primarily bolstered by surging laptop sales and continued demand for highly profitable printer ink. For the year, Hewlett-Packard's net income grew 17.2% to $7.26 billion, on revenue growth of 13.8% to $104.29 billion. The company has agreed to acquire the Atos Origin Middle East group, or AOME. As one of the Middle East's leading systems integrators, AOME is expected to broaden the company's consulting and integration capacity in the region. Also, Hewlett-Packard purchased specialty computer maker Neoware for $16.25 a share or $334 million. On the downside, intense competition in the computer and printer market as well as rising debt levels are downside risks to the buy rating. Hess ( HES), which is involved in every aspect of crude oil and natural gas from exploration to distribution, has earned a buy rating since August 2005. The company has shown steady top-line growth, with third-quarter revenue climbing 6.8% from a year ago to $7.51 billion, primarily due to an increase in production volumes as well as crude oil and natural gas prices. Net income increased 33.4% to $395 million, or $1.23 a share, mainly due to lower marketing expenses. The company's crude oil production volume increased 9.4% to 257,000 barrels per day, while average realized crude price rose 11% to $65.26 per barrel (including hedging). Oil prices are trading at a record level, and they are also highly volatile and cyclical in nature. High oil prices may generate demand for low cost alternatives, which could hurt the demand for oil and gas products. Hess generates a significant portion of its profit from the production of oil and gas, apart from oil refining. Any unexpected sharp downturn in oil and gas prices may also affect the company's earnings.