HP announcements across the board

Hewlett-Packard announces buyback, 4Q on target, and Fiorina as chairman
Written by Margaret Kane, Contributor

Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina has taken over the chairman's post at the firm, which announced today that it was initiating a share buyback program and sees revenue growth on target for the fourth quarter.

Fiorina, who was named chief executive and president last year, will continue in those positions. She replaces Richard A Hackborn at the chairman's post. He will remain a member of the board.

Also today, HP's board authorised $1bn for repurchases of the company's common stock, saying it would offset dilution associated with employee stock plans. The firm did not set a time limit on the repurchases.

The company also said it is confident it will meet its goal of 15 percent revenue growth for the fourth quarter, and that it will match analyst expectations of $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter.

Separately, the company said Friday that it was switching auditing firms, signing on with Ernst & Young LLP for the fiscal year ending 31 October, 2000.

It had used PricewaterhouseCoopers, but ended that agreement due to the possibility that it will acquire that firm's consulting business.

HP repeated today that terms of the PwC transaction have not been agreed upon, and that significant issues remain to be resolved.

Shares of HP were up 3.13 at 98.31 in morning trading.

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