Hewlett-Packard 4Q Beats Street

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall  Street’s expectations, prompting the shares to surge in after-hours trading.

In its first quarterly report with new chief executive Meg Whitman at the helm, the company reported net income that fell to $200 million, or 12 cents a share, down 91% compared with last year’s net income of $2.5 billion, or $1.10 a share.  However, when adjusted to exclude one-time charges totaling $1.05 a share, and including after-tax costs related to the wind down of the company’s webOS device business, non-GAAP earnings came in at $1.17 a share, down 12% from last year’s fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.33 a share.

Non-GAAP net revenue fell 3% to $32.3 billion, compared with last year’s net revenue of $33.3 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of $1.13 a share on revenue of $32.04 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.  Earnings per share also beat the whisper number, or the unofficial expectation on the Street, for earnings of $1.10 a share.

"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, HP president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We need to get back to the business fundamentals in fiscal 2012, including making prudent investments in the business and driving more consistent execution."

For the fiscal first quarter, the company forecast adjusted earnings in the range of 83 cents to 86 cents a share. Fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings are expected to come in at $4.00 a share.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard fell 4.1% on Monday, closing at $26.86 a share. The stock was up 79 cents, or 2.9%, in after-hours trading.