HP triples its stock buybacks

HEWLETT-PACKARD tripled the size of its share repurchase programme to $12bn (&pound;7.2bn), after a strong performance in China and improved profit margins in its services business helped boost quarterly earnings.<br /><br />The US computer firm also posted fourth quarter earnings up 14 per cent after cost cuts. <br /><br />The business reported a net profit of $2.4bn, up from $2.1bn in the year-ago period. Sales fell eight per cent to $30.8bn.<br /><br />As it forecast earlier this month, HP expects full-year 2010 sales to be between $118 to $119bn.