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(HPE Photo)

It’s been a rough few years for old-school IT companies, but HPE easily outpaced Wall Street expectations for its first fiscal quarter thanks to growth in demand for its IT hardware.

Revenue for the quarter, which ended on Jan. 31st, was $7.7 billion, up 11 percent compared to the same period last year and well ahead of analyst expectations for a very slight increase in revenue of $7.1 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. Revenue growth was strongest in its storage and data center networking businesses, the company said in a release.

HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri (HPE Photo)

Net earnings were $1.5 billion, but that number was affected disproportionately by the benefits of repatriating income from overseas locations following the passage of new U.S. tax laws last December. Excluding that benefit and other items, earnings per share were $0.34, also well ahead of analyst expectations for $0.22 in earnings per share.

It looks like the decision to spin off its enterprise software and services business last year is paying dividends for HPE, although it’s unclear how much of the first-quarter gains were driven by refresh cycles kicking in at the end of the year. Still, HPE raised its second-quarter and full-year guidance well above analyst predictions for the same periods, and that is not something you do lightly.

This was also the last quarter under former HPE CEO Meg Whitman, who stepped down on the first day of the current period and was replaced by Antonio Neri. Investors sent HPE’s stock surging 14 percent in after-hours trading following the release of the results.

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