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Legal charges trim HP profit

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Hewlett-Packard revised its first-quarter net income down by $73 million on Friday, thanks to charges for litigation involving a company that the computer giant acquired in 2008.

Net income for the quarter ended Jan. 31 has been revised to $2.59 billion, or $1.07 a share, excluding one-time charges -- down from the $2.67 billion, or $1.10 per share, HP (HPQ, Fortune 500) previously reported on Feb 17. On a GAAP basis, HP is now reporting earnings of $2.25 billion, down from the $2.32 billion previously reported.

"The revision is unrelated to HP's strong business performance in the first quarter," a company spokeswoman told CNNMoney.

In 2004, Sky Subscribers Services Limited and British Sky Broadcasting Limited filed a lawsuit in the United Kingdom against technology services company Electronic Data Systems (EDS). HP acquired EDS in August 2008.

The 2004 suit relates to a "customer relationship management project" that EDS was awarded in 2000, according to HP's press release.

At a March 1 court hearing, EDS was ordered to pay BSkyB 70 million British pounds, or about $112 million. That's in addition to another payment of $320 million HP made to BSkyB in February 2010.

Accounting rules required HP to increase the reserves it has set aside to absorb the litigation's cost.

The March 1 payment order followed a January court decision that dismissed most of BSkyB's claims against EDS but found the company liable in some areas. HP said it is seeking permission to appeal the court's ruling.

The company did not provide updated guidance for its second fiscal quarter or the remainder of 2010. To top of page

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