Hewlett Packard Enterprises Co.'s stock surged 5.4% in after-hours trade Thursday, after the business software services company reported better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results, its first since splitting off HP Inc. . For the quarter ended Jan. 31, earnings fell to $267 million, or 15 cents a share, from $547 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as one-time restructuring charges, adjusted earnings per share came to 42 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 40 cents. Revenue declined 3% to $12.72 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $12.65 billion, as better-than-expected enterprise group revenue offset in line enterprise services revenue and less-than-expected software revenue. Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal second-quarter adjusted EPS of 39 cents to 43 cents, surrounding the FactSet consensus of 42 cents. The company said it plans to return at least 100% of its fiscal 2016 free-cash-flow outlook, which was $2 billion to $2.2 billion, to shareholders, up from a return of $1.3 billion to shareholders in a year ago. The stock had lost 11% year to date through Thursday's close, while the S&P 500 had slipped 2.5%.
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