Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), facing questions about its growth strategy after the surprise departure of ex-CEO Mark Hurd, on Tuesday forecast 2011 results that surpassed Wall Street expectations and propped up its shares.

The world’s largest technology company forecast 12-14 percent growth in non-GAAP earnings in fiscal 2011 and revenue growth of 5-7 percent, helping its shares gain more than 1 percent in after-hours trade.

But the company has not announced who will take the helm, despite hopes among some investors it would do so at its annual analyst meeting on Tuesday.

In the leadership vacuum that ensued following Hurd’s controversial ouster, shareholders have grumbled about HP’s spending on acquisitions, and worried about newly aggressive rivals such as International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) to Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).

On Tuesday, interim CEO Cathie Lesjak defended the company’s innovation strategy. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano this month blasted HP for having focused too much on shaving costs and not spending enough on research and development to drive growth.

"Innovation has, is, and will continue to be at the core of Hewlett-Packard," Lesjak told analysts.

The company forecast earnings, excluding items, for fiscal 2011 to rise to $5.05 to $5.15 a share on revenue of $131.5 billion to $133.5 billion.

Wall Street is targeting earnings of $4.99 a share on revenue of $131.4 billion for the next fiscal year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

HP, which rakes in about as much revenue annually as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) combined, is now on the prowl for a new chief, and is reportedly searching among its own ranks.