EDS

HP's Mark Hurd: The Biggest Winner

February 18, 2010: 1:05 PM ET

Wall Street didn't make much of HP's services numbers – but they're actually pretty good. Photo: HP.

Just for a moment, forget about revenue and earnings per share. The most interesting number out of Hewlett-Packard's earnings announcement this week was this:

15.8%.

That's the profit margin CEO Mark Hurd and his team squeezed out of HP's (HPQ) services business on the way to an impressive first fiscal quarter. The significance of the number? When Hurd bought lumbering services giant EDS for $13.9 billion a year and a half ago, he embarked on the corporate equivalent of that weight-loss show, "The Biggest Loser." For HP to win, the former EDS has to drop weight. And the surest sign of weight loss is healthy margins. More

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