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HP posts 5 pct profit gain on revenue of $33 bln

Technology giant Hewlett-Packard managed to beat market expectations with its fourth quarter earnings report, announcing that the company has seen a five percent increase in profits and an eight percent jump in overall revenue compared to the same quarter a year ago. For an idea of how large a company HP is, the company had revenues of $33.3 billion during the quarter and earnings of $2.5 billion.

“HP proved once again that it is able to execute given its market strengths and technology leadership,” said HP’s newly-installed president and CEO Leo Apotheker, in a statement. “I have seen firsthand that we have talented people who are focused on delivering value for our customers. Our market opportunity is vast, and I am confident that we will extend our leadership into the future.”

The fourth quarter earnings announcement eases HP’s transition to new leadership: HP brought Apotheker on board to lead the company in October, after the controversial resignation of former CEO Mark Hurd under a business ethics cloud. Hurd quickly landed on his feet as a co-president of HP rival Oracle, resulting in a quickly-settled flurry of litigation as HP claimed there was no way Hurd would be able to keep HP trade secrets to himself.

Apotheker also used HP’s fourth quarter financial announcements as an opportunity to start putting his stamp on the company. Apotheker announced that going forward, he expected HP would focus more on software—a move that makes sense, given that Apotheker came to HP from business software giant SAP. Currently, HP’s software business represents about three percent of HP’s overall revenue, generating about $974 million during the quarter—contrast that with HP’s imaging and printing group, which generated 7 billion in revenue during the quarter. Apotheker speculated that HP can double and, over the long term, triple the size of their software business, but that he viewed software as a way to differentiate and add value to HP’s products and services.