hp1In a sign of hope for the tech economy, Hewlett-Packard said today that it expects growth to return to the information technology industry in 2010.

Speaking at the company’s analyst meeting today, HP chief executive Mark Hurd said HP plans on growing faster than the overall market rate. This confidence from the world’s largest computer maker should keep the stock market on its recovery course. But HP’s stock price is down in after-hours trading at $46.87 a share, down 46 cents.

Hurd said HP’s service business and its global scale give it a big advantage. That’s probably why Dell had to pay $3.9 billion to acquire services business Perot Systems. HP is counting on big trends such as the momentum of converged devices and infrastructure as well as a shift of printing from analog to digital technology.

Cathie Lesjak, HP executive vice president and chief financial officer, said HP expects revenue for its 2010 fiscal year of $117-118 billion. GAAP-based earnings per share are expected to be $3.60-3.70, and non-GAAP diluted EPS is expected to be $4.20-4.30. The profits are in line with what analysts expected for the fiscal year which closes at the end of October, 2010. A webcast is here. There are signs the PC industry is returning to growth. Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said this week that PC sales could rise in 2009.

HP’s PC division is execpted to grow 3-5 percent in the coming year.

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