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HP's Storage Sneaks Up

Buoyed by strong sales of its storage and blade server products, HP reported a solid set of third-quarter results last night, beating analysts' estimates and side-stepping the spending challenges that have hit its rivals. (See HP Reports Q3.)

The vendor reported revenues of $25.4 billion, up 16 percent on the same period last year, and easily beating analyst estimates of $24.09 billion.

On a GAAP basis, HP's earnings per share were 66 cents on net income of $2.1 billion, up from 48 cents and $1.5 billion in the same period last year. (See HP Announces Earnings.) On a non-GAAP basis, the vendor's earnings per share were 71 cents on $2.3 billion, compared to 52 cents and $1.7 billion in last year's third quarter, and just above analyst estimates of 65 cents.

In an increasingly uncertain economic climate, HP appears to have avoided the spending slowdown that has blighted many of its competitors. (See Sun Slips on Storage, Overland Struggles With 'Softness', LSI Promises Better, and Isilon: The Honeymoon's Over.) "We delivered a really strong quarter, in Q3 we had our strongest revenue growth since 2000," said HP CEO Mark Hurd during a conference call last night. "We saw steady growth across all regions and sectors."

The CEO went on to explain that the vendor's Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS) division was one of HP's strongest performers. (See HP's Storage & Security Blitz.) "Enterprise Servers and Storage grew 10 percent year-over-year to $4.5 billion," he said, adding that storage alone grew 6 percent, thanks to solid performance from external disk systems.

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