HP and Dell Announce Declining Quarterly Results

By Chris Freeburn February 23, 2012

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has issued dismal first quarter financial results. The world’s largest personal computer manufacturer reported that first quarter (1Q) revenues slid seven percent to $30.7 billion, compared to $32.3 billion in 1Q 2011. Quarterly income fell, too, down sharply to $1.47 from $2.6 billion in the prior 1Q. Adjusted quarterly profit numbers beat analysts’ expectations, however. FactSet Research had predicted 87 cents per share earnings, while HP’s accounting-adjusted per share earnings came in at 92 cents.

The first quarter results provided the first measure of Meg Whitman’s tenure as CEO. Whitman, who replaced Leo Apotheker in September, chose to focus on the positive. “We delivered on our Q1 outlook and remained focused on the fundamentals to drive long-term sustainable returns,” she said in a statement. “We are taking the necessary steps to improve execution, increase effectiveness and capitalize on emerging opportunities.”

Whitman’s rosy assessment aside, the New York Times pointed out that the numbers show revenue declining at every HP division. The company’s personal computers business was particularly hard hit, sliding 15 percent, to $8.9 billion in 1Q. Even HP’s long-standing cash cow, Printing and Imaging, fell seven percent to $6.3 billion.

The Times noted that HP’s poor showing follows depressed results announced by Dell Computer, whose fiscal fourth quarter income slid 18 percent, dropping to $764 million even as Dell’s revenue increased two percent to $16 billion. Dell also sounded a pessimistic note for its upcoming first quarter, predicting computer sales will tumble seven percent.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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