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February 19, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:45pm

1997 STARTS SLOWER FOR HP

By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co has came out of its fiscal 1997 blocks a little slower than the year-earlier period when profits rose 31% on sales up 27%, yesterday reporting first quarter net income up a more modest 15% at $912m on the $790m it did last time, on revenue up 11% at $10.3bn over $9.3bn last year. Earnings of $0.87 per share were well above the $0.75 mean forecast of analysts surveyed by First Call. US revenue was up 14% at $4.3bn, elsewhere revenue rose by 9% to reach $6bn. Orders were up 9% at $11bn compared with $10.1bn last year. US orders were up 7% at $4.2bn – much less than the 24% growth experienced in the first quarter of its last fiscal – while foreign orders increased 9% to $6.8bn, again much less than the 32% growth experienced last time around. HP observed order growth of 9% was slower than it had hoped but was outweighed by cost and expense management in the quarter. CEO Lew Platt said he considered 9% growth: Acceptable in light of the many factors that affected orders, including a tough comparison with last year and the impact of currency exchange rates. Margins were crimped a little once again because cost of goods sold for the quarter was 65% of revenue compared with 64.5% a year earlier. Operating expenses rose 10% over the year-ago quarter and were 22.6% of net revenue.

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