HP's Q1 sales, outlook light; PC unit takes hit

Summary:HP CEO Meg Whitman said that the company is "taking the necessary steps to improve execution."

HP reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings, but sales fell short of expectations. HP, however, cut its outlook for the second quarter as the company's personal systems group was whacked.

The company reported first quarter earnings of $1.5 billion, or 73 cents a share, on revenue of $30 billion, down 7 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 92 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting HP to report first quarter earnings of 87 cents a share on revenue of $30.67 billion.

In a statement, HP CEO Meg Whitman said that the company is "taking the necessary steps to improve execution."

Indeed, HP's second quarter outlook was weaker than expected. HP said that second quarter non-GAAP earnings will be 88 cents a share to 91 cents a share. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 95 cents a share. HP said GAAP earnings will be 68 cents a share to 71 cents a share.

HP said that it still thinks it can hit its fiscal 2012 target of non-GAAP earnings of $4 a share.

According to HP, the company saw first quarter revenue slide in multiple regions. In the Americas, first quarter revenue fell 9 percent to $13.2 billion. Europe, Middle East and Africa sales fell 4 percent from a year ago to $11.7 billion. Asia Pacific revenue in the first quarter fell 10 percent to $5.2 billion. International revenue represented 66 percent of HP's total revenue.

On a conference call with analysts, Whitman said that HP was hit by an ongoing hard drive shortage as well as currency fluctuations in Japan.

Whitman added that "we are still experiencing a weak consumer market and those that are investing cautiously."

She said that HP would focus on investing in innovation, executing better and a "multi-year journey" to fix the business. "It took a while for us to get into this and it will take a while for us to get out," said Whitman.

By unit, HP took hits across the board. HP's enterprise server and networking, printing and personal systems group took hits.

  • PC unit shipments fell 18 percent in the fiscal first quarter. Consumer PC sales fell 25 percent and commercial revenue fell 7 percent.
  • Printing revenue fell 7 percent in the first quarter from a year ago. Consumer revenue fell 15 percent and commercial revenue fell 10 percent.
  • Enterprise servers, storage and networking revenue fell 10 percent.
  • Services revenue was up 1 percent.
  • Software revenue was up 30 percent in the first quarter from a year ago.

Other key figures:
  • Accounts receivable in the quarter were $15.9 billion, or 48 days.
  • Inventory was $7.3 billion or 28 days.
  • Research and development spending in the quarter was $786 million, down from $798 million a year ago.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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