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News : Innovation Last Updated: Nov 22, 2011 - 8:11 AM

Hewlett-Packard posts 91% plunge in fourth-quarter profits
By Finfacts Team
Nov 22, 2011 - 8:05 AM

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny with HP Ireland MD Martin Murphy at the Liffey Park Technology Campus, Dublin, May 25, 2011, to mark HP’s 40 years in Ireland.

Hewlett-Packard on Monday posted a 91% plunge in fourth-quarter profits after taking a $3.3bn charge to close down its WebOS business.

HP reported a profit of $200m on total sales of $32.1bn for the quarter ending 31 October down from $2.5bn on revenue of $33.3bn over the same period last year.

Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, was appointed chief of HP in September  following the firing of her predecessor and on Monday, despite the dip in profits, HP said revenue rose 1% to $32.3bn.

For the current quarter, HP has forecast earnings per share, excluding one-time charges, between 83 cents and 86 cents, well below the $1.17 analysts expected.

"HP has a great opportunity to build on our strong hardware, software, and services franchises with leading market positions, customer relationships, and intellectual property," said Meg Whitman. "We need to get back to the business fundamentals in fiscal 2012, including making prudent investments in the business and driving more consistent execution."

The Wall Street Journal said that In an interview, Cathie Lesjak, HP's chief financial officer, called the outlook "cautious" and cited an uncertain economy and internal investments the company plans to make.

Another factor is the flooding in Thailand, which is causing shortages for hard drives, key component which are made there. Lesjak said she expects HP to feel the impact for the first half of 2012. H-P will shift its inventory to higher-end computers and may have to raise prices, she said.

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