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8/26/2005
10:34 AM
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HP Plans $4 Billion Stock Repurchase

Hewlett-Packard Co. hopes to boost shareholder earnings by reducing the number of outstanding shares.

Hewlett-Packard Co. has authorized $4 billion in stock repurchases and hopes to boost shareholder earnings by reducing the number of outstanding shares.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company's board of directors authorized the repurchases of outstanding shares of common stock Thursday. HP plans to offset dilution from the issuance of shares as an employee benefit and to repurchase stock to return cash to shareholders.

In the past 10 months, HP has repurchased $2.1 billion of its shares under a $3 billion repurchase program approved in September 2004. Earnings per share rise as the number of outstanding shares decreases.

The computer and printer company brought in $85.2 billion in revenue from July 31, 2004 to July 31, 2005. Despite a one-time tax hit, HP has exceeded observers' expectations in its first full quarter under new CEO Mark Hurd, who replaced Carly Fiorina in March.

That news comes as the worldwide sever market increases. In the quarter ended June 30, the market grew by 4.7 percent to $12.2 billion, compared with $11.6 billion for the same period a year ago. HP ranked second, behind Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM for revenue growth in the market.

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