NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co
said Monday its board approved the buyback of an additional
$10 billion in shares, even as it finds itself involved in an
escalating bidding war over high-end data storage company 3PAR
Inc.

HP is currently competing to acquire 3PAR in an intense
auction that started last week with rival Dell Inc. On
Friday, HP raised its bid to purchase 3PAR to approximately $2
billion .

At the same time, the world's top personal computer maker
is casting about for a new chief executive. CEO Mark Hurd
resigned from HP after an investigation found that he had
falsified expense reports to conceal a "close personal
relationship" with a female contractor .

HP interim CEO Cathie Lesjak said in a statement that HP
plans to repurchase at least $3 billion worth of shares in the
fiscal fourth quarter.

"This increased authorization will ensure that we have
sufficient capacity to continue to be active in repurchasing
our shares prior to our fiscal fourth-quarter earnings
announcement in November," Lesjak said in a statement.

HP had repurchased about $2.6 billion of its shares in its
fiscal third quarter as part of an $8 billion repurchase plan
approved in November 2009. Under that authorization, HP has
approximately $4.9 billion remaining to buy back its stock.

It said on Monday that the additional $10 billion is part
of an effort to manage the number of outstanding shares in
existence. Programs like employee stock plans tend to increase
the overall amount of stock in the market, and HP said the
buyback would help counter that dilution.

HP had $14.7 billion in cash and equivalents as of the
third quarter ended July 31, with a market capitalization of
$88.7 billion.

Shares of HP are up almost 3 percent to $39.11 in morning
trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)