Hewlett-Packard's fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 62 percent Thursday after the computer and printer company took a $1.1 billion adjustment for restructuring-related...

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Hewlett-Packard’s fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 62 percent Thursday after the computer and printer company took a $1.1 billion adjustment for restructuring-related costs and other expenses.

For the period ending Oct. 31, Hewlett-Packard (HP) earned $416 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a profit of $1.091 billion, or 37 cents per share, in the same period last year. Sales increased 7 percent, to $22.9 billion from $21.4 billion.

Excluding special items, HP earned $1.5 billion, or 51 cents per share, compared with $1.2 billion, or 41 cents per share, in the same period last year.

On that basis, the results soared past Wall Street expectations. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 46 cents on sales of $22.78 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Shares of HP, one of the 30 Dow stocks, soared $1.67 on news of the results. Earlier, shares rose 73 cents to close at $29.

Walt Disney Co.

Consumer products, DVD sales on pause

Net income at media conglomerate The Walt Disney Co. dropped 26 percent in the fourth quarter after several charges, including the expensing of stock options.

Disney said Thursday that profit increased at its media networks division, which includes the ABC network and ESPN cable channel, as well as at its theme parks. But profit fell at Disney’s studio, which sold fewer DVDs worldwide, and its consumer-products division.

The company reported net income of $379 million in the quarter ended Oct. 1, or 19 cents per share, compared to $516 million, or 25 cents per share in the same period last year. The results beat estimates from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who had expected earnings of 18 cents per share.

The company released its earnings after the close of trading. Shares of Disney, a Dow component, fell 60 cents in after-hours trading after rising 14 cents to $25.99 during the regular session.


Wrinkle in outlook leaves stock sagging

Gap’s third-quarter profit plunged 20 percent as the clothing retailer stumbled through its worst sales slump in more than three years.

Compounding the misery, the owner of the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic chains warned its woes are likely to continue during the crucial holiday shopping season — a dreary outlook that caused its stock to drop by nearly 10 percent.

The company said Thursday that it earned $212 million, or 24 cents per share, for the three months ending Oct. 29. That compared with $265 million, or 28 cents per share, at the same time last year.

The earnings matched the mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Analysts lowered their expectations earlier this month after Gap provided an early warning about its struggles. Sales for the period totaled $3.86 billion, a 3 percent decline from $3.98 billion last year.

In a more telling sign of a merchant’s health, Gap’s sales at stores open for at least a year fell 7 percent. That represented the largest three-month decline in Gap’s comparable-store sales since the second quarter of 2002 — the tail end of the deepest funk of its 36-year history.

The company’s performance improved following a management shake-up that ushered in former Walt Disney executive Paul Pressler to rejuvenate one of the nation’s best-known retailers.

The company released its results and revised guidance after the market closed Thursday. During regular trading, the company’s shares climbed 35 cents to close at $18.51. In extended trading, its shares plunged $1.76, or 9.5 percent. Gap’s market value has dropped 12 percent this year.

Compiled from The Associated Press