* Street sees Q1 EPS $1.29, rev $32.95 bln
* Strong networking, server, storage sales expected
* New HP CEO yet to outline strategy
By Gabriel Madway
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 22 Hewlett-Packard Co
should reaffirm good corporate technology spending trends when
it reports results, as investors wait to hear more about new CEO
Leo Apotheker's vision for the future.
On Tuesday, the world's largest technology company by
revenue is expected to report strong demand for networking
equipment, servers and storage, but relatively lackluster sales
of low-margin personal computers due to weak consumer spending.
The printing and IT services segments, which provide more
than half of HP's operating profit, should turn in strong, if
unspectacular, results, according to analysts.
HP's report is due to come on the heels of the company's
most aggressive salvo at the wireless device market dominated by
the likes of Apple Inc and Google Inc -- the
Palm software-powered TouchPad.
The tablet, unveiled alongside two new smartphones, emerged
from HP's $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm, a pioneer in mobile
computing that had languished in the face of Apple's dominance.
HP is undergoing a transformation at the top. Last month, it
shook up a much-criticized board, adding five new directors
including billionaire former eBay CEO and gubernatorial hopeful
Under Apotheker, who began Nov. 1 after the stunning ouster
of Mark Hurd in August, the company is expected to focus more on
expanding its footprint in software.
Apotheker has remained largely silent about any plans he
might have to galvanize growth and reignite innovation in the
sprawling company. And investors may have to wait a bit longer
to hear his roadmap.
HP and Apotheker will host an event next month for analysts
and the media, in which he is expected to lay out his strategy
for the company.
HP is expected to post a 6 percent rise in revenue to $32.95
billion in the fiscal first quarter ended January. It should
earn $1.29 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
HP shares have rebounded lately from their lows following
The stock is already up more than 15 percent this year, but
the company's valuation remains depressed. HP is trading at 9
times earnings, below rival International Business Machines Corp
Dell's quarterly earnings last week provided technology
investors a measure of comfort. HP's smaller rival enjoyed a
decline in component costs that will also benefit HP, and
offered concrete signs that businesses are spending again after
two cash-strapped years.
(Editing by Richard Chang)