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Hewlett-Packard moves up profit report after memo leak

May 16, 2011 |  8:10 pm

Tech giant Hewlett-Packard Co. said late Monday it would move up its fiscal-second-quarter earnings report to Tuesday from Wednesday.

The Palo Alto company didn’t give a reason, but it’s likely a reaction to Bloomberg News’ leak of a memo that H-P Chief Executive Leo Apotheker sent to senior executives earlier this month.

The memo, reported after the stock market closed on Monday, warned of “another tough quarter” in the three months that will end in July and ordered H-P executives to “watch every penny and minimize all hiring.”

The fiscal-second-quarter report is for the period ending April 30. Analysts expect the company to report profit of about $1.21 a share in the quarter.

The earnings report will be released at 4:30 a.m. PDT on Tuesday instead of on Wednesday, H-P said in a statement. The company will hold a conference call beginning at 5:30 a.m. PDT.

H-P stock plunged 9.6% on Feb. 23 after the company warned that sales and earnings in the April 30 period would be less than expected. Analysts had been forecasting that the company would earn $1.26 a share.

The company blamed weakness in PC sales to consumers, though it said sales to businesses were strong. Under Apotheker, who took over as CEO in November, H-P has pledged to boost its software and server businesses to reduce reliance on PC sales.

H-P shares tumbled 4.8% in after-hours trading Monday, down $1.91 to $37.89, after falling 61 cents to $39.80 in regular trading.

Not counting after-hours trading, the stock was down 5.5% year to date compared with a 3.2% gain for the average tech stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

-- Tom Petruno