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Hewlett-PackardJustin Sullivan

Shares in Hewlett-Packard Co. rallied 10 per cent in post-market trading after the computer giant reported fiscal second quarter profit and revenue that beat Street expectations as it confirmed plans for a mass layoff.

Adjusted profit of 98 cents (U.S.) per share easily beat Street forecasts of 91 cents, while revenue of $30.7-billion also surpassed forecasts of $29.9-billion.

HP's guidance also encouraged investors, forecasting adjusted profit would come in at 94 cents to 97 cents per share for the current quarter, instead of the $1.02, on average, that analysts had been expecting. The company also said it is cutting 27,000 jobs to reduce operating costs.

Elsewhere during extended trading, Pandora Media Inc. shares rallied 14 per cent after reporting an adjusted loss in the most recent quarter of 9 cents per share, much less harsh than the 17 cents analysts had predicted.

Moving on the downside was NetApp Inc. , which beat profit expectations in its latest quarter but provided disappointing guidance. Shares in the data management solutions provider were down 25 per cent.

Meanwhile, several news services, including Reuters, Bloomberg and CNBC, reported that Facebook may be considering switching its stock listing from the Nasdaq to the NYSE after the botched IPO last week. Facebook, whose shares marginally rose 0.3 per cent in the post market after gaining 3.2 per cent in the regular session, did not confirm the reports.

Thursday lookahead

Two more Canadian banks will report their earnings before markets open on Thursday: Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank. The quarterly reporting season got off to a good start Wednesday when Bank of Montreal reported fiscal second quarter earnings rose 27 per cent over last year, beating expectations.

Investors will be looking for that momentum to continue; analysts predict a $1.18 per share profit at RBC and $1.78 from TD Bank.

Among other companies to report in the pre-market are J.J. Heinz Co. and Tiffany & Co.

On the economic front, several manufacturing reports are due out in the morning, beginning in China and including the U.S. and euro zone. Germany and Britain report their revisions to estimates of first-quarter GDP.

The U.S. Labour Department reports on initial jobless claims in the week ending May 19. Economists expect 370,000 new claims, in line with the previous week.