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Stocks to Watch: HP, Ford, Sears, Gap

Joseph Woelfel

NEW YORK -- Hewlett-Packard the PC and printer maker, posted earnings on Wednesday that beat Wall Street expectations.

HP reported earnings of 87 cents a share in the first quarter on revenue of $27.6 billion.

Analysts were looking for profit of 82 cents a share on sales of $28.36 billion.

"We beat the upper end of our non-GAAP diluted EPS outlook for the quarter by $0.05 per share, driven by better than expected performance in Enterprise Services and Printing, coupled with the accelerated capture of restructuring savings and improvement in our operations," said Meg Whitman, HP president and CEO, in a statement..

For the third quarter, HP expects it will earn on a non-GAAP basis between 84 cents and 87 cents a share. For the full year, the company expects non-GAAP earnings of between $3.50 and $3.60 a share.

HP Pops on Earnings Beat

Ford said Thursday it will close its two Australian auto plants, ending production in the country in 2016, amid higher costs and falling sales.

The closure of the plants will mean the loss of 1,200 jobs.

Ford began making cars in Australia in 1925 and is the third-largest automaker in the country.

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Wall Street expects Sears to post a first-quarter loss of 60 cents a share on sales of $8.37 billion.

Gap is forecast to report earnings of 69 cents a share in the first quarter on sales of $3.68 billion.

Buckle Up for More Retail Earnings

Dollar Tree is forecast by analysts to report on Thursday first-quarter profit of 57 cents a share on revenue of $1.87 billion.

Hormel Foods , the maker of Spam, is expected to post fiscal second-quarter earnings of 49 cents a share on revenue of $2.19 billion.

Zumiez , the retailer of action sports apparel, is expected by Wall Street to post first-quarter earnings on Thursday of 12 cents a share.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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