Hewlett-Packard managed to hit already reduced market expectations for its fourth quarter, but chief executive Carly Fiorina admitted there were still a lot of work to do.
HP reported a 10 per cent rise in revenue for its fourth quarter, just ahead of analysts' lowered expectations.
Despite this, the market reacted well to the results, pushing HP's shares up nearly 20 per cent at one point in Thursday trading.
For the quarter ended 31 October 1999, the company said net revenue was $11.4 billion, compared with $10.3 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
Earnings per share were $0.75 per share before expenses related to the spin-off of Agilent Technologies, compared with $0.72 in 1998.
Profit was $760 million for the quarter, up from $710 million in the same period a year ago.
Carly Fiorina, company president and CEO, commented: "We executed solidly despite this quarter's challenges."
"We have an aggressive agenda for change, and we're making good progress on it. At the same time, we're managing our change and maintaining good operational controls over our businesses," she said.
Fiorina added that the company needs to strengthen its field operations and leverage its lab's resources.
"We have some long-standing business issues we need to address, and we're taking decisive action. We don't expect an overnight fix, but we're comfortable we can make substantial progress this year," she said. "I'm challenging HP people to achieve top and bottom line growth in the range of 12 to 15 per cent, with momentum building through the year."
Also this week, Fiorina, following her keynote address at Comdex, announced a $200 million global brand campaign and a new company logo.
She said the new brand is aimed at giving the company a clearer, stronger voice in the marketplace and reflect HP's inventiveness.
In addition, Hewlett-Packard announced plans with Oracle to integrate the Oracle8i Lite mobile computing platform and HP's Chai software platform. The tie-up is aimed at bringing mobile e-services to the next generation of network devices, the companies said.The results of the alliance will be a range of products including handheld computers, mobile phones and set-top boxes.
For the full year 1999, HP reported a rise in revenue of seven per cent to $42.4 billion. Profit was $3.1 billion, an increase of 16 per cent on profit of $2.7 billion in 1998. Earnings per share were $2.97, up 18 per cent on last year.
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