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Hewlett-Packard got its new fiscal year off to a fast start. The company Tuesday reported a profit of $721 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $17.9 billion for its first quarter, ended Jan. 31. This compares with a profit of $484 million, or 25 cents a share, on revenue of $11.4 billion a year ago, before the completion of its merger with Compaq in May.
HP's imaging and printing business again led the way, generating a quarterly profit of $907 million on revenue of $5.6 billion, up from a profit of $742 million on revenue of $5.1 billion a year ago. The company's IT services business nearly doubled, thanks largely to the Compaq acquisition. Services generated $341 million in profit on $2.96 billion in revenue, compared with $203 million in profit on $1.56 billion in revenue for the first quarter a year ago.
Strong sales of consumer PCs and handheld devices offset weakness in commercial products in HP's personal systems group, which recorded $33 million in profit on $5.1 billion in sales. The enterprise systems group continued to struggle, losing $83 million on revenue of $3.7 billion.