Hewlett-Packard has brought forward its results announcement for its second quarter ending 30 April after an internal memo, which warned of a tough current quarter, was leaked.

In an e-mail sent to 10 senior HP executives, CEO Leo Apotheker asked them to cut back expenses, and slow their hiring plans, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The email was sent on 4 May, a few days after HP started its current quarter, and was also signed by chief financial officer Cathie Lesjak, the report said.

HP shares fell by close to 5 percent in after-hours trading on Monday, following the leak of the memo.

HP reported in February a jump in profit for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year, but weakness in its PC and services divisions dragged down sales.

Revenue for the quarter at US$32.30 billion was up 4 percent from a year earlier, but below the $32.96 billion analysts had expected.