4th quarter profit of Hewlett-Packard comes up

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose to Wall Street's surprise, fueled by strong demand for personal computers and a sharp improvement in its software business.

Separately, the world's largest PC maker said its board approved the repurchase of an additional $8 billion (5.46 billion EUR) in stock.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, the company earned $2.16 billion (1.47 billion EUR), or 81 cents per share, up 28 percent from $1.70 billion (1.16 billion EUR), or 60 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings, excluding the amortization of purchased intangibles, were 86 cents per share for the latest quarter.

Revenue rose 15 percent to $28.29 billion (19.31 billion EUR) from $24.56 billion (16.76 billion EUR).

Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 82 cents per share on sales of $27.4 billion (18.7 billion EUR), according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

HP expects first-quarter earnings of 75 cents per share, and adjusted earnings, excluding the amortization of intangible assets, of 80 cents per share and revenue between $27.4 billion (18.7 billion EUR) and $27.5 billion (18.77 billion EUR).

Analysts are forecasting a first-quarter profit of 77 cents per share on sales of $27.03 billion (18.45 billion EUR).