Hewlett-Packard Says It's Great To Be King

Market share? Worldwide, the biggest -- and growing. Laptop sales growth? Explosive. Net income? A gusher. Revenue growth? Firehose style. The numbers for Hewlett-Packard's latest quarter are in. They're real, and they're spectacular.

HP said Monday that sales of notebook computers grew nearly 50% compared to a year earlier. That helped push net income up 26%, beating Wall Street expectations. And HP was bullish about the future, predicting continued gains in sales.

"There's a tremendous opportunity out there and we like how we're positioned," said Chief Executive Mark Hurd in a conference call.

The Palo Alto-based company said overall business grew fastest in emerging economies, such as Brazil, India, Russia and China. In computer sales alone, China, HP's third-largest market, saw sales double. HP sells products in 400 Chinese cities and plans to expand, Hurd said.

Looking ahead, Hurd said the company didn't see any of the softness in the U.S. market that other technology leaders have cited, particularly in financial services, and predicted HP's sales would continue to climb.

"One reason we are optimistic is the explosion of digital content," Hurd said. "HP plays a role if the information is managed, processed and stored. Content is good for our business."

Dell is clinging to the last blue ribbon it holds in the hardware sweepstakes: Number one in marketshare for computers sold in the United States. But even that lead has narrowed to 28% for Dell to 24% for HP.  If HP ever figures out how to make a printer that doesn't eat cardstock like candy and come bundled with drivers that make malware seem less annoying, they'll probably grab that, too.
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