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HP enjoys healthy revenue growth, but net income drops 29 percent

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Tech giant and computer/printer-maker Hewlett-Packard let loose its fiscal third quarter 2014 earnings report, with modestly encouraging results.

On the plus side, HP realized quarterly revenue growth after 11 consecutive quarters of declines.

On the side of disgruntlement, though, quarterly net income dropped by an unhealthy 29 percent, to $985 billion. That compares poorly with the $1.39 billion from same time, last year. Mitigating circumstances responsible for the fall in income included taking a $649 million restructuring charge, though.

Revenue rose 1.3 percent to $27.6 billion, according to HP.

A major contributor to HP's improved revenue numbers lies in sales of PCs, which did not fall as precipitously as analysts predicted, largely due to the timing of cyclical replacement of older models coming home to roost at many companies, and HP's improving status in the personal PC market. In that category, the brand continues to enjoy a sizable market share due to more competitors dropping by the wayside, and HP's durable reputation as a go-to brand.

PC revenue rose 12 percent over last year, to $8.65 billion. Notebook sales increased by 18 percent as part of that overall increase, while desktop PC sales contributed 8 percent. Printer sales, a core business for HP, declined 3.8 percent to $5.59 billion. HP remains the second biggest maker of PCs, losing first place to Lenovo last year.

Other direct players in the PC production market, such as Intel and Microsoft, also are benefiting from the improved environment for PC hardware and software sales.

"Overall, I'm very pleased with the progress we've made," says Meg Whitman, chairman, president and CEO. "When I look at the way the business is performing, the pipeline of innovation and the daily feedback that I receive from our customers and partners, my confidence in the turnaround grows stronger."

Whitman may not be pleased with the feedback she receives from the additional 16,000 employees that the company said were being added to the already-announced plan (in May 2012) to sack 34,000 associates, who will not be part of the turnaround.

Hewlett-Packard still faces many inhibitors to growth. Like some of its Silicon Valley legacy peers, HP faces competitors that are more flexible, cheaper and perhaps more on top of the latest enterprise business trends including cloud computing. The tech giant also needs to play catch-up in mobile technology, as it lacks a foothold in the wireless communications device market and in software applications for the mobile market.

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