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Feb. 12, 2004, 1:28 p.m. EST

H-P on tap for earnings report

Applied Materials, Network Appliance also set to deliver

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By Rex Crum, CBS.MarketWatch.com

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- The last of the technology earnings-season reports comes in next week with Hewlett-Packard set to give its insights about the computing market and Applied Materials discussing the chip-equipment industry.

H-P /zigman2/quotes/203461582/composite HPQ -0.24% said it expects to post first-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share on profit of $19.5 billion when it reports next Thursday afternoon. The profit outlook was in line with Wall Street analysts' estimates, but the revenue estimate was $100 million more than previous forecasts.

Still, some analysts are cautious about H-P. Various reports suggest the company had weak printer sales in January, and with printing and imaging making up H-P's most-profitable business area, any hit would been seen negatively by investors.

"Although the results are 'as expected,' we think investors may be disappointed given recent revenue and earnings upside surprises from IBM /zigman2/quotes/203856914/composite IBM +1.66% , EMC , and Sun /zigman2/quotes/208800639/composite SUNW -9.48% ," wrote Merrill Lynch's Steve Milunovich, in a research note.

Chip-equipment leader Applied Materials /zigman2/quotes/209393259/composite AMAT -0.45% will report fiscal first-quarter financial results Wednesday after the closing bell.

Analysts currently expect earnings of 8 cents a share and revenue of $1.3 billion, on average, according to Reuters Research. At the beginning of the quarter, Applied said it could earn between 6 cents and 8 cents a share on revenue between $1.28 billion and $1.3 billion.

Orders, an indication of business momentum and future sales, will also be important for investors. Applied posted sequential order growth in its fourth quarter of 21 percent and predicted 20 percent growth for the first quarter.

Storage-technology company Network Appliance /zigman2/quotes/209297588/composite NTAP -0.14% also delivers results next week. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call estimate NetApp will earn 10 cents a share on $291 million in revenue when its posts third-quarter results on Tuesday.

Analysts will look for signs that NetApp can maintain its gross margins, which are around the 60 percent level, and anything that suggests the company will continue to expand into high-end storage area networks and lower-end disk backup and recovery systems.

/zigman2/quotes/203461582/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 37.55
-0.09 -0.24%
Volume: 16.22M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:02p
P/E Ratio
6.90
Dividend Yield
2.66%
Market Cap
$43.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/203856914/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 118.84
+1.94 +1.66%
Volume: 6.63M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.50
Dividend Yield
5.52%
Market Cap
$106.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$196,163
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/zigman2/quotes/208800639/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 3.87
-0.41 -9.48%
Volume: 1.34M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$112.41 million
Rev. per Employee
$310,762
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/zigman2/quotes/209393259/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 145.83
-0.66 -0.45%
Volume: 7.77M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
22.73
Dividend Yield
0.66%
Market Cap
$131.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209297588/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 90.05
-0.13 -0.14%
Volume: 1.90M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
21.85
Dividend Yield
2.22%
Market Cap
$20.02 billion
Rev. per Employee
$521,182
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Rex Crum is a reporter for CBS.MarketWatch.com in San Francisco.

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