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HP Q4 PC Sales Increase 19%

Palo Alto, Calif. – Hewlett-Packard fourth quarter was fueled by growing sales and profit in its PC segment, as well as a booming business in its largest business, imaging and printing.

HP posted a consolidated 10 percent increase in revenue and more than doubled company-wide net income during its fiscal fourth quarter.

Revenue in personal systems soared 19 percent, to $6 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $5 billion in the year-ago period. Units increased 35 percent year on year, boosted by a 53 percent growth in notebooks and 23 percent surge in desktop computers. The company said it widened its lead in the notebook market, with year-over-year unit growth of 60 percent in the third calendar quarter, growing at almost twice the market rate.

The personal systems segment reported a fourth quarter profit of $21 million, which erases a loss of $68 million in the same period a year earlier and $56 million loss in the third quarter. Operating profit for the segment increased $391 million on a full-year combined company basis, reflecting supply chain savings and expense discipline.

‘This was a great quarter,’ said Carly Fiorina, chairman/CEO. ‘By any measure, we hit our stride and demonstrated what the merger was all about. ‘In personal systems, we saw strong revenue growth in all regions.’ HP acquired Compaq Computer in May 2002 for $19 billion.

During the fiscal quarter, ended Oct. 31, revenue in the Americas grew 6 percent year on year and 14 percent over the third quarter, reaching $9.2 billion, and represented 46 percent in total revenue.

In its printers and related supplies segment, HP posted record revenue of $6.2 billion in the fourth quarter, up 11 percent over the same period in 2002 when it recorded sales of $5.6 billion. Digital imaging revenue climbed 18 percent and supplies 14 percent in the fourth quarter year over year. Operating profit for the segment surpassed $1 billion for the first time in the fourth quarter, a 7 percent increase, compared with the same period a year ago, when operating profit hit $944 million.

Consolidated HP revenue in the fourth quarter hit $19.9 billion, an increase of 10 percent over the $18 billion notched in the year-ago period. Fourth quarter consolidated net income reached $862 million, up from $390 million in the same three months last year. Excluding special items, HP earned $1.1 billion, compared with $721 million in the prior-year period.

‘HP’s excellent fourth quarter performance capped a fiscal year in which we delivered on our commitments,’ continued Fiorina. ‘We achieved profitability in each of our businesses. We grew revenue and market share. We exceeded our integration and costs-savings goals ahead of schedule, and we generated cash flow from operations in excess of $6 billion for the year.’

Looking to its first quarter in the current fiscal year, HP estimated consolidated revenue will range from $19.1 billion to $19.5 billion, ahead of the current company consensus of $19 billion.