Hewlett-Packard Co. surprised analysts Friday when it reported that growing demand for its computers boosted first-quarter profit 31 percent.
HP reported earnings of $790 million, or $1.50 a share, for the three months ended Jan. 31. That compares with net income of $602 million, or $1.15 a share, for the same quarter of last year.
Revenue rose 27 percent to $9.3 billion from $7.3 billion. Orders were up 29 percent to $10.1 billion from $7.8 billion. The results exceeded both analysts’ and the company’s own expectations.
“Things went so well in the quarter they were embarrassed,” Robert Herwick, president of Herwick Capital Management in San Francisco, said after an analyst conference call with the company.
“We’re extremely pleased to start the year with these results,” said Lewis Platt, HP’s chairman and chief executive officer.