HP results gain on laptop, blade sales

Company profits rose 20 percent in Q3 to $2.5 billion.

HP's revenue and profit grew in its fiscal third quarter, largely on the strength of sales outside the Americas, with laptop and blade-server sales among the high points.

Revenue rose 10 percent to US$28 billion in the quarter, which ended July 31, compared with the same quarter last year. The company's Personal Systems Group led with $10.3 billion, a 15 percent increase from a year earlier. While laptop revenue grew 26 percent, desktop sales rose just 6 percent. Another bright point for HP was the company's ESS (Enterprise Storage and Servers) division, where ESS blade revenue grew 66 percent and storage rose 16 percent.

As the U.S. struggles with an economic downturn, HP's sales growth was strongest in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, followed by the Asia-Pacific region. Revenue rose most rapidly in the key BRIC developing markets -- Brazil, Russia, China and India -- up 24 percent from a year earlier.

The company's profit rose 20 percent to $2.5 billion, or $0.80 per share. Not counting certain one-time items, the profit increased 20 percent to $2.7 billion, or $0.86 per share. That figure beat the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial, who had expected $0.83 per share. Revenue beat the analysts' expectations by less than $1 billion.

For the current quarter, HP forecast revenue between $30.2 billion and $30.3 billion.

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