Capping a year when it reclaimed the title of world's largest PC vendor despite a boardroom scandal, HP on Thursday reported net income of $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter, more than four times its mark for that period last year.

HP listed earnings of $0.60 per share for the quarter ending 31 October on revenue of $24.6 billion. On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain one-time items, HP had earnings per share of $0.68, beating by $0.04 the consensus estimate from analysts polled by Thomson Financial. The analysts expected revenue of $24.12 billion.

For the fourth quarter last year, HP reported net income of just $400 million on revenue of $22.9 billion.

The strong quarter pushed HP to full year profits of $6.2 billion, far above its 2005 mark of $2.4 billion. The company reported full-year revenue of $91.7 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $91.23 billion and matching their earnings target of $2.18 per share. Full year earnings last year were just $0.82 per share.

All of HP's six business divisions reported operating profit in the fourth quarter and five of the six reported gains over the year-ago quarter.

A corporate restructuring program, which Hurd launched in July 2005 two months after he became CEO, "is substantially completed," said Robert Wayman, HP's chief financial officer. About 14,200 jobs have been eliminated at the company since then, although approximately another 1,000 jobs will be eliminated in the first quarter of HP's 2007 fiscal year, Wayman said.

Thursday's earnings report comes just one day after ousted HP chairman Patricia Dunn made another court appearance in the HP board scandal case. Dunn pleaded not guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court to four California state felony charges related to the company's investigation of leaks by HP directors to the news media. She is one of five people charged in connection with the case, in which false pretences were allegedly used to gain access to private phone records.

Hurd maintains that the board scandal has had no impact on HP's business operations.

Despite that turmoil, the company has performed well in sales, passing its rival Dell to become the world's largest PC vendor. HP hadn't worn that crown for three years. Dell's fortunes continued to fall Thursday, as the company postponed its own earnings call in the wake of a formal investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.