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HP shares rise on raised job cut target, cash flow outlook

A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

(Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co's shares rose as much as 7 percent on Friday, a day after the personal computer maker said it would cut as many as 16,000 more jobs and forecast strong free cash flow for the year.

At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the company's stock, which was one of the most traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chief Executive Meg Whitman said on Thursday that HP's turnaround plan remained on track and the raised target on job cuts reflected how the company continued to find areas to streamline operations across its broad portfolio.

The company had set a job cuts target of 27,000 when it started its restructuring in 2012, but increased it to 34,000 last year and then to 50,000 on Thursday.

HP had 317,500 employees as of October 31, 2013.

"The impact from these additional headcount reductions are expected to create additional run rate gross savings of about $1bn/year in FY16," JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall wrote in a note.

He raised his price target on the stock to $38 from $35.

HP's shares were up 5.9 percent at $33.63 in noon trading.

The company said on a post-earnings conference call on Thursday that it expected to exceed its free cash flow target of $6.0 billion-$6.5 billion for the year ending October.

Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi said HP had delivered stronger-than-expected quarterly free cash flow that was higher than its adjusted profit for eight straight quarters.

(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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