Stocks to Watch: HP, Abercrombie & Fitch

NEW YORK -- Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), the PC maker, topped analysts' quarterly revenue and earnings estimates and delivered a better-than-expected outlook on Thursday.

HP reported fiscal first-quarter revenue of $28.4 billion, down from $30 billion a year earlier but above Wall Street forecasts of $27.79 billion. Excluding items, HP earned 82 cents a share, down from 92 cents but well above the consensus estimate of 71 cents. Earnings also surpassed HP's forecast of 68 cents to 71 cents a share.

Profit was "driven by improved execution, improvement in our channel and go-to-market efforts and the impact of the restructuring program we announced in May 2012," CEO Meg Whitman said in a statement on Thursday. "While there's still a lot of work to do to generate the kind of growth we want to see, our turnaround is starting to gain traction as a result of the actions we took in 2012 to lay the foundation for HP's future."

For the second quarter, HP expects earnings, excluding items, of 80 cents to 82 cents a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 77 cents. HP predicts full-year earnings of $3.40 to $3.60 a share, well above Wall Street's estimate of $3.32.

HP's Earnings Surprise Wall Street; Shares Surge


Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF) is expected by analysts Friday to post fourth-quarter earnings of $1.96 a share on revenue of $1.49 billion.


KKR & Co. ( KKR) submitted an offer of $75 a share for industrial machinery maker Gardner Denver ( GDI), Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The offer puts KKR in place to buy Gardner Denver, after sources told Reuters that other private-equity bidders have dropped out of the bidding process.

Gardner Denver shares closed Thursday at $67.47.

Cramer: Beware Too Much M&A Frenzy


Charter Communications ( CHTR) is forecast Friday to post a fourth-quarter loss of.28 cents a share on revenue of $1.91 billion, up 4% from a year earlier.


United Airlines ( UAL) said Thursday it was taking the grounded Boeing ( BA) 787 Dreamliner out of its flight plans through June 5, and postponed its new Denver-to-Tokyo flights.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused a battery fire in one plane and forced the emergency landing of another plane last month. Boeing's 787s have been grounded since Jan. 16.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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