Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) will release the results from its first fiscal quarter tonight. Analysts are generally expecting the company’s sales to continue declining. On average, they’re looking for earnings of 84 cents per share on revenue of $27.2 billion. That’s down slightly from 82 cents per share in profits on $28.36 billion in revenue for the December 2012 quarter.

Hewlett-Packard HPQ

Can Meg Whitman turn around Hewlett-Packard

The clock has been ticking on CEO Meg Whitman’s turnaround efforts, and investors may be starting to get impatient. They’ll be wanting to see signs that what she is doing is actually working. In spite of any concerns about Whitman’s turnaround efforts, however, shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) have performed remarkably well over the last 12 months or so, especially since the company’s earnings beat in November. Shares have risen by about 5% so far this year and 18% just since that last positive earnings report.

In general, analysts are expecting to see a beat this time around as well, with Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White expecting a modest beat and Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um, who believes the company’s margins are improving. Zacks analysts also believe Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) will come out ahead of expectations because of the traction it has already made in cloud services, big data and security. Other analysts have noted that the PC industry may be stabilizing, which of course would be good news for HP and other computer makers.

Hewlett-Packard continues to face challenges

However, the number of challenges Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is still meaningfully high, as questions still remain about just how stable the PC market will become. Historically, earnings reports have been especially important in terms of big movements in HP shares. On average, they have moved about 10% to 15% in either direction after an earnings report. As a result, those who decide to gamble with Hewlett-Packard can expect to see either big gains or big losses, depending on how Wall Street reacts tonight.