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HP stock rallies on Whitman forecast

Chief executive predicts ‘pockets of growth’ in 2014, ‘industry-leading company’ by 2016

Whitman: Fiscal 2014 will be a pivotal year.
Whitman: Fiscal 2014 will be a pivotal year.

A statement to analysts by Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett Packard, sent the company's stock climbing yesterday, by as much as 9.5%, Reuters reported.

Whitman's remarks, in which she forecast revenue stabilisation by next year and growth by 2015, eased investor anxiety regarding her multi-year turnaround plan for the flagging heavyweight.

HP stock slid by around 20% in the months following an August statement by Whitman, in which she predicted that 2014 growth would be unlikely. Shares are still down on a mid-August value of $25.38.

"Fiscal 2014 will be a pivotal year," Whitman said at the annual investor briefing in San Jose, California. "We expect total revenue to stabilise and start driving new pockets of growth... In fiscal 2015, you can still expect to see acceleration, and in fiscal 2016, an industry-leading company."

Two years have passed since Whitman put her five-year plan for recovery into effect. But her strategy has failed to impressed investors. Since 2010, HP stock has lost half of its value and the past three months has seen a decline of 17%.