Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) stock increased as much as 2.6 percent in afternoon trading on Monday. In the absence of other major catalysts, and against a backdrop of modest market declines, credit may fall to positive comments from Katy Huberty, a managing director at Morgan Stanley.

“Ultimately,” Huberty told CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Monday morning, “the company will top their free cash-flow guidance by 35 percent this year. That’s going to improve earnings quality, accelerate the cash return to shareholders and ultimately drive the multiple higher.”

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HP’s 2013 free cash flow guidance was $5.0 billion. Huberty is looking for $6.7 billion, spurred by the $2.1 billion figure reported in the first quarter. Here’s a quick look at HP’s top- and bottom-line performance over the past few years:

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However, when asked about what the company could do about its revenues –  which declined 5.4 percent in 2012 — Huberty suggested that top-line growth isn’t where investors should be looking.

“The frank answer is, I don’t think they need to grow revenue in the next 9 months,” she told CNBC. “The call right now is about earnings and free cash flow recovery.”

Huberty indicated that new multifunction printers and power-efficient servers as vectors of growth for the beleaguered company. She seemed to adhere to CEO Meg Whitman’s assessment that the company will have to continue suffering through a period of transition before returning to growth.

Hewlett-Packard Company Common Stock Chart - HPQ Interactive Chart - Yahoo! Finance

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