Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), the No. 1 computer maker, leaped as much as 7.4 percent Thursday after the company said Wednesday it would fire 27,000 people by 2014.

In early activity, HP shares were at $22.09, up $1.01, or about 4.8 percent. They had started to rise after HP reported mediocre second-quarter results on Wednesday.

CEO Margaret (Meg) Whitman explained the trims were necessary to rebuild the Palo Alto, Calif., company's ability to compete in cloud computing and technology.