|Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison|
On Monday, HP reported solid fourth-quarter earnings, and new CEO Leo Apotheker showed his funny side in response to a question from TheStreet. HP comfortably beat Wall Street's estimates. Like its PC rival Dell ( DELL), HP noted an enterprise IT refresh. HP also gave healthy guidance and appears to be ramping up the pressure on rivals Cisco ( CSCO) and IBM ( IBM) with its networking and server products. Apotheker also explained that HP will be increasing its R&D. The company's R&D outlay grew to $814 million from $704 in the prior year's quarter, and the new CEO said that savings from HP's ongoing efforts to streamline its business will fund additional research. "There is always an opportunity to drive more productivity," he said during the analyst conference call. "We will use some of the savings that we generate from our efficiency initiative to invest more in R&D." HP shares closed down 54 cents, or 1.25%, at $43.20 on Friday.