Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

HP's profits exceed expectations

Hewlett-Packard said it was gaining market share during slowdown

The world's biggest PC maker, Hewlett-Packard (HP), has beaten forecasts by posting a better-than-expected net profit in the fourth quarter.

HP said it made a $1.03 (0.68) net profit per share excluding charges, 3% higher than the Wall Street analysts expected.

Hewlett-Packard shares rose 10% on the news.

HP chief executive Mark Hurd said the company was gaining market share despite "a challenging marketplace".

He added that HP was in a better position than its rivals thanks to its global reach, broad customer base and ongoing cost cuts.

Hewlett-Packard's sales rose 19%, to $33.6 billion, also exceeding expectations.

In September HP announced it would lay off over 24,000 employees following its acquisition of Electronic Data Systems.

"HP is gaining market share in an extremely strong competitive position. They've got share gains, combined with very aggressive cost reduction", said Shannon Cross, analyst at Cross Research.

Hewlett-Packard shares have lost a third of their value in the past two months on fears that the economic slowdown would hit the market for personal computers.

Last year, HP overtook Dell to become the biggest seller of PCs.

The company will reveal its full results on 24 November.

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