Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) fell 8.5 percent in Wednesday midday trading, amid worries following CEO Meg Whitman’s dim forecast on fiscal 2013’s profit. Whitman’s projections missed estimates, and were coupled with her own insights, where she noted that the highly awaited turnaround wouldn’t happen any time soon. “It’s going to take longer to right this ship than any of us would like,” she remarked.
The news comes as a slight surprise, as most investors had expected the profit to stabilize, or at the least be flat. Amit Daryanani, an RBC Capital analyst, noted that nobody expected the company to have such a dire outlook. “They are alluding towards a more challenging fiscal 2013, versus fiscal 2012,” remarked Daryanani.
The probable reason behind the surprise among analysts, is the huge margin between the company’s personal projections and analysts’ estimates. Data compiled by Bloomberg revealed that analysts, on average, estimated profits of $4.16 a share, $0.56 more than what HP has projected.
In a meeting with financial analysts on Wednesday, Whitman was not hesitant to accept HP’s undisguised dismal performance over the years. “The recent financial performance of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has not been good,” she said. Whitman also noted that the biggest challenge ahead of HP was dealing with the multiple CEO changes that the company has had. Indeed, the company has had 6 CEOS, including interims, ever since 2005. All along, each new CEO has been appointed with the sole intention of reviving sales and improving the company’s bottom line.
Tough year ahead of Whitman
All eyes are set on CEO Whitman as she faces the daunting task of reversing the company’s troubled fortunes. Despite the many visible obstacles, Whitman has managed to maintain her composure, after citing that the next fiscal year would be a fix and rebuild year. Whitman also shared her insights on the innovation at Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), remarking that it was still alive and well in play.
In recent days she has announced the company’s increased layoff target of 29,000, amid protracted cost cutting to improve profits. She has also noted that the company has learned the importance of design from Apple, and that it intends to introduce a brand new line of computers to rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s own.
One of the biggest bottlenecks to HP’s turnaround is competition from China’s Lenovo Group Limited (PINK:LNVGY). Lenovo, which acquired IBM’s PC division back in 2004, is making significant inroads into HP’s core market. According to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT), Its share rose 14.7 percent during the second quarter, as opposed to HP’s, which dipped 14.9 percent.
As of the moment, Whitman’s efforts have been directed towards managing the businesses’ data, as well providing oversight to the company’s transition to cloud-computing. Whitman believes that these segments, among others, will give the company the much needed edge during this crucial time.