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HP forecasts solid 2011 but does not name a new CEO

Warwick Ashford

HP has forecast strong financial results for 2011 as it seeks to reassure investors after the sudden departure in August of former chief executive Mark Hurd.

Hurd cut costs and boosted efficiency at HP, but was forced to resign over allegations of false expenses claims and covering up a relationship with events contractor Jodie Fisher.

Within a month of his departure, Hurd took up a post at HP's rival Oracle as co-president.

HP forecast 12% to 14% growth in earnings in its fiscal year 2011, and revenue growth of 5% to 7%.

Although HP did not announce a successor to Hurd, the strong financial forecast helped company shares to gain 1.3% in after-hours trade.

The revenue forecast of $131.5bn (£83bn) to $133.5bn (£84.3bn) exceeded Wall Street's expectation of $131.4bn, according to Reuters.

Interim chief executive Cathie Lesjak said HP had an "extraordinary opportunity" to grow with its global reach and estimated market of $1.6tn in 2013.

HP's growth is expected to come mainly from its enterprise business, which the firm said planned to expand the sales team for its revenue-driving services division.

The firm also plans to expand sales teams to help HP take advantage of the fast-growing market for smartphones and tablet devices.


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