|HP CEO Meg Whitman|
PALO ALTO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- HP ( HPQ) reported its fourth-quarter results after market close on Monday, marking the quarterly conference call debut of new CEO Meg Whitman. The no. 1 PC maker saw its earnings decline from year-ago levels, but the performance still came in above Wall Street's expectations.
HP earned $1.17 a share, down from $1.33 a share in the prior year's quarter, but above analysts' forecast of $1.13 a share. The tech giant brought in fourth-quarter revenue of $32.3 billion, down from $33.3 billion in the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for sales of $32.05 billion. "HP has a great opportunity to build on our strong hardware, software, and services franchises with leading market positions, customer relationships, and intellectual property," said HP CEO Meg Whitman, in a statement. "We need to get back to the business fundamentals in fiscal 2012, including making prudent investments in the business and driving more consistent execution." As expected, the company gave itself a modest financial target for fiscal 2012 amidst an uncertain economy and the impact of Thailand's floods on the hard disk drive market. HP expects fiscal 2012 earnings of at least $4, well below analysts' forecast of $4.54. Speaking during HP's conference call, Whitman said that the company will not be making any large-scale acquisitions during fiscal 2012, and also vowed to increase the firm's R&D investment. The fourth-quarter results cap a turbulent period for HP, which saw major shifts in strategy and the ouster of former CEO Leo Apotheker after less than 12 months in the company hot seat. Barely two months after her appointment, Whitman has already nixed a controversial potential sell-off of HP's PC business. The new CEO, however, gave no indication of her plans for HP's WebOS software during the fourth-quarter conference call. HP shares were down 26 cents, or 0.97%, to $26.60 in extended trading on Monday. --Written by James Rogers in New York >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.