HP CEO Projects Revenue Stability With Pockets Of Growth, Stock Soars

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The stock price of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) gained as much as 9.5 percent to $22.74 a share after its chief executive officer, Meg Whitman, stated her expectation that the company’s revenue will stabilize next year with pockets of growth. Whitman also projected that HP’s business will extend its growth until 2015.

HP CEO Projects Revenue Stability With Pockets Of Growth, Stock Soars

The stock is trading around $22 a share, up 6 percent around 2:00 P.M. in New York.

During the annual investor briefing today, Whitman said, “Fiscal 2014 will be a pivotal year.  In fiscal 2015, you can still expect to see acceleration, and in fiscal 2016, an industry-leading company.”  In 2014, “we expect total revenue to stabilize and start driving new pockets of growth,” added Whitman.

The multi-year turnaround strategy of HP

Whitman’s statement during the briefing alleviated the concerns of analysts and investors regarding the multi-year turnaround strategy of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ). In August, Whitman cautioned that it would be unlikely for the company to achieve growth in 2014. Her warning caused the stock to decline 20 percent, but managed to regain some of its lost value today.

In a note to investors, Stifel analysts, Aaron Rakers, Joseph Quatrochi, and Andrew Shinn wrote that Whitman’s presentation offers a few incremental thoughts regarding the F2014 outlook of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ). The analysts perceived a net positive EPS and FCF, but is unconfirmed.

Based on the report of StreetAccount, the company is expecting yr/yr revenue declines in 2014, but it is moderating from 2013 with pockets of growth. Rakers and his fellow analysts said the non-GAAP EPS guidance in the range of $3.55 to $3.75 is better than their $3.56 per share estimate. They also believed that it was modestly better than their expected investor sentiment in the range of $3.30 to $3.60 per share.

According to the analysts, the StreetAccount report indicated that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s F2014 FCF is expected to be around $6 billion to $6.5 billion with ~$3 billion in capex, compared with their estimate at $4 billion to $6 billion, and $8 billion guidance for 2013.

The report also noted in Whitman’s statement that the company has no additional major restructuring plans next year. Raker and his fellow analysts believed that investors were expecting something, and they noted that the company’s previous target was to reduce its workforce by approximately 29,000 by the end of 2014, or around 26,000 by the end of 2013.

In addition, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) $3B/annum in labor-related by F2015, and >$3B/annum in R&D, and attainment of pre-autonomy acquisition net debt levels. Furthermore, Whitman emphasized that HP’s focus is to increase shareholder value, and to invest aggressively in growth opportunities.

According to Raker and his fellow analysts, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is confident that its long-term businesses has the ability to deliver GDP-like growth rate, but the company must focus on declining businesses while boosting its growing business through aggressive investments for revenue/operating EBIT growth, sustaining flat business categories, and optimizing the profitability of its businesses.

“While the strategy is clear, evidence of when/how this will materialize are thus far vague, in our opinion,” state the analysts. They also opined that the updates provided in the enterprise solutions of the company are not surprising. According to them, HP just emphasized its deep product portfolio from hardware to cloud, big data, and application modernization solutions. Furthermore, they believe that it is critical for the company to ramp up its Moonshot strategy, as the company noted that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are becoming increasingly competitive.

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