The world’s largest maker of printers and PCs, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), reported today a weak third-quarter result. The PC maker suffered due to a huge write down in the value of a recent acquisition of Electric Data Systems unit by $8 billion.
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) reported non-GAAP EPS of $1.00 (-9%Y/Y) with revenues of $29.7B (-5%Y/Y), which were about $500 million less than Wall Street estimates. The PC maker has been targeting to save $3.0-$3.5 Billion by slashing 8 percent headcounts over next 2 1/2 yrs, but for the past seven years HPQ already booked >$5B in restructuring, and yet only saw its competitive position erode. HP reported earnings of $2 billion, or $1.00 a share for the quarter, which was in line with the estimates.
Segment wise, only software revenues were encouraging, with 18 percent improvement, while the company’s personal systems group, which includes the sales of notebook and desktop computers, saw revenue decline by 10 percent. Other segments including printing, Enterprise, and services also experienced a decline, while the financing group remained flat.
“HP is still in the early stages of a multi-year turnaround, and we’re making decent progress despite the headwinds,” said Chief Meg Whitman. “During the quarter we took important steps to focus on strategic priorities, manage costs, drive needed organizational change, and improve the balance sheet. We continue to deliver on what we say we will do.”
A competitor, Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) posted less than expected revenues yesterday and lowered the forecasts for the upcoming quarter, blaming slumping economy and weak consumer demand, along with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), as many clients have postponed purchases till the launch of Windows 8 in late October. HP and its rivals are suffering from decreased sales of PCs, due to the increasing popularity of tablets and smartphones, which are growing in popularity at an extremely fast pace.
For the current quarter, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) revealed that it may take another impairment charge in its software business.
The world’s largest maker of printers and PCs lowered its guidance for full-year earnings, down three cents, to a range of $4.05 to $4.07 a share.
Analyzing the future prospects of HP, a report from Evercore Partners quoted “We see HPQ risks including cyclical global PC, enterprise IT and printer markets, with particular pressure in hardware and margins from aggressive competitive pricing. We believe many of HPQ’s further risks stem from inconsistent operational execution and recent large acquisitions, which combined with aggressive buy-backs, have weakened its balance sheet. We believe risks to the upside include improved management and performance across HPQ’s large businesses, leveraging its scale and enabling its P/E multiple to rebound.“
Shares of HP lost 82 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $18.38 in premarket trading. The stock closed at $19.20 Wednesday. HP shares reached an annual low of $17.41 on Aug. 2, and traded as high as $30 in February.