Hewlett-Packard Sees Growth in '10

Updated from Monday, Nov. 23

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) delivered no surprises Monday, posting earnings and sales numbers in line with previously announced results.

Hewlett-Packard, the top PC maker, posted adjusted earnings of $1.14, up from $1.03 in the year-ago quarter and a penny better than the $1.13 pro forma profit analysts were looking for, according to Yahoo Finance.

Sales for Hewlett-Packard's fiscal fourth quarter ended last month were $30.8 billion down from the $33.6 billion level in the same period last year and slightly better than the $30.4 billion target analysts had hoped for.

Looking ahead, Hewlett-Packard sees growth returning next year.

"Spending will be prudent in 2010 but improved from 2009," CEO Mark Hurd said during an interview on CNBC after the company released its results. "We think the company will return to growth in 2010," he added.

For the fiscal first quarter ending in January, Hewlett-Packard expects sales between $29.6 billion and $29.9 billion. The midpoint of that range is $29.75 billion and directly in line with analysts' projections. Adjusted earnings for the current period are expected to be about $1.04 a share, also in line with expectations.

Hewlett-Packard essentially reiterated the financial guidance it offered earlier this month when it announced the $2.7 billion deal for networking gearmaker 3Com ( COMS).

Hewlett-Packard saw a boost in consumer PC sales with shipments up 8% over year-ago levels. The report jibes with Gartner's observation Monday that found a surprising jump in shipments in the most recent quarter. Gartner reversed its call for a decline this year in PC volumes and now says shipments should be up 2.8% this year. But despite the volume growth, the total revenue tally is falling.

Fitting that pattern, Hewlett-Packard says while consumer PC volume was up, revenue was down, meaning more lower priced netbooks and notebooks made up a bigger portion of the sales.

Hewlett-Packard shares fell to $50.80 in after-hours trading from Monday's closing price of $51.02 as investors found no upside surprises in the report.

-- Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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