Hewlett Packard (HP) chief executive Carly Fiorina admitted the firm could have "done better" in its third-quarter 2003 results, issued last week.
HP reported a five per cent increase in turnover for the quarter ended 31 July to $17.5bn, compared with $16.5bn last year.
However, turnover declined by four per cent compared with Q2 2003. Operating profit totalled $858m for the quarter, up 61 per cent on Q3 last year, but down 25 per cent compared with the previous quarter.
"Q3 is always tough, but we still should have done better," said Fiorina.
"We are confident in our strategy and the actions we are taking. We expect to deliver a strong Q4 with every one of our businesses profitable."
The firm blamed 'seasonality' for reduced sales in its personal systems business, but posted a 27 per cent increase in notebook sales.
Imaging and printing grew by 10 per cent, and HP's enterprise business also saw turnover increase by 64 per cent. The vendor's managed services division grew by 21 per cent over the quarter.
Anthony Miller, an analyst at Ovum Holway, said: "HP is a long way from being another IBM Global Services, but at least it seems to be heading in the right direction."
James Stevenson, newly appointed chief executive of VAR Keltec, said: "It's all about managing expectations. Maybe IBM manages financial expectations better than HP.
"The market is not in fantastic shape. The expectations are that it will improve, but it's not there yet."
Separately, storage vendor Network Appliance posted its Q1 2004 results, with turnover of $260.5m compared with $206.8m the previous year, an increase of 26 per cent. Profit rose by 67 per cent to $27.1m, compared with a $16.2m profit in Q1 2003.
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