Hewlett Packard (HP) has announced that increased consumer demand for PCs and printers will lead to its quarterly earnings being "substantially above" earlier forecasts.
The company did not release figures, but earnings per share for the quarter ended 31 January are expected to smash Wall Street's estimate of 16 cents. The results will be released on 13 February.
Embattled HP chief executive Carly Fiorina will welcome the news as the battle with the HP founders' families to gain shareholder approval for a merger with Compaq becomes increasingly public and heated.
Fiorina said in a statement: "Economic conditions around the world continue to be challenging, but consumer technology spending is clearly showing some strength.
"As a result, we are seeing better than expected revenues in our PC, imaging and printing businesses. We are not relenting on the expense side and continue to take decisive action to improve our cost structure.
"Gross margins have improved in our PC, imaging and printing businesses, as well as in our services business."
Shareholders will vote on the proposed merger in March, after it was given the green light by the European Commission's competition unit last week.
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