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Monday, August 16, 1999 Published at 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK

Business: The Company File

Computer giant outstrips forecast

Hewlett Packard says business is growing fast

Computing giant Hewlett-Packard has reported a third-quarter profit that outstrips analysts' forecasts.

The company - the second-largest computer firm in the US - said its revenues also showed healthy growth.

Net earnings were $853m in the quarter to July 31, compared with $621m in the same period last year.

Hewlett-Packard is in the process of turning its test and measurement equipment operations into a separate company.

Before separation costs in the latest quarter, earnings per share on a diluted basis were 85 cents.

The consensus among analysts who follow the company had been for a third-quarter profit of 80 cents per share, before the usual costs, according to First Call, which tracks analysts' estimates.

Top woman chief

The spin-off company, Agilent Technologies has filed for an initial public offering.

Hewlett-Packard also said its third-quarter revenue increased to $12.2bn from $11bn the year before.

The company said it was seeing good momentum in Asia.

It has recently appointed one of the most powerful women in corporate America to be its new chief executive.

Carly Fiorina added £2 to the company's shares just by joining.

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