Shortly after the close, technology concern Hewlett-Packard reported a fourth-quarter profit of $2.2 billion, or 81 cents per share, on revenue of $28.3 billion. In the same quarter last year, H-P earned $1.7 billion, or 60 cents per share, on $24.6 billion in sales. Excluding charges, earnings would have been $2.3 billion, or 86 cents per share, topping the Street's view for a profit of 82 cents per share on $27.4 billion in sales. Looking forward, the company expects a first-quarter profit of 80 cents per share on revenue between $27.4 billion and $27.5 billion.
In after hours trading, HPQ shares were hovering just above the 50 mark, having closed Monday down 2.58% at $49.44 per share. On the sentiment front, options players aren't expecting much from the equity, as the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.90 ranks above 90% of all those taken during the past year. Call volume today was spread among the out-of-the-money December 50, 52.50, and 55 strikes, however, with more than 10,000 contracts changing hands for all three front-month contracts.
Comparatively, put volume was extremely light among December options, with traders focusing on the 50, 47.50 and 45 strikes. The in-the-money December 50 saw the most activity, with more than 7,300 puts changing hands on open interest of 5,532 contracts.
On the analyst front, there is very little room for upgrades should Wall Street choose to reward the company's performance in the earnings confessional. According to Zacks, 15 of the 19 analysts following HPQ rate it a buy or better.