HP closes out its fiscal year with mixed Q4 earnings report

UPDATED: Stressing 2014 as the third year in HP's "five-year turnaround," CEO Meg Whitman assured shareholders the tech giant is entering 2015 with the "strongest portfolio" in a decade.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

After a quarter culminating in splitting itself apart, Hewlett-Packard published fourth quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday.

The tech giant reported a net income of $2 billion, or 70 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were $1.06 per share on a revenue of $28.4 billion, down two percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of $1.06 per share on revenue of $28.76 billion.

As a result, HP shares tumbled slightly by roughly 2.6 percent in after-hours trading.

For fiscal 2014, HP produced earnings of $3.74 per share and revenue of $111.5 billion, down one percent from the year prior.

Asserting that HP's "turnaround" journey is on track, CEO Meg Whitman reflected on 2014 in prepared remarks:

In FY14, we stabilized our revenue trajectory, strengthened our operations, showed strong financial discipline, and once again made innovation the cornerstone of our company. Our product roadmaps are the best they've been in years and our partners and customers believe in us. There's still a lot left to do, but our efforts to date, combined with the separation we announced in October, sets the stage for accelerated progress in FY15 and beyond.

Amid plans to splinter its PC and printer businesses from the enterprise unit, HP's fourth quarter upgrades hit upon everything from staple products such as HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage to a roadmap headed toward the 3D printing market in 2016.

Both the enterprise group and enterprise services departments at HP saw revenue decline last quarter by four and seven percent, respectively, year-over-year.

"We have already established a Separation Management Office tasked with driving the separation process," Whitman said.

Software, printing, and financial services all also saw single-digit declines.

But Personal Services -- comprised of consumer and commercial services encompassing desktops and laptops -- demonstrated growth by four percent during the fourth quarter. Total PC units were up five percent. Looking closer, desktops were actually down two percent but notebooks surged slightly at eight percent.

Looking forward, Wall Street is counting HP to deliver first quarter earnings of at least 93 cents per share on revenue of $27.55 billion.

HP followed up with a fiscal Q1 earnings guidance range of 89 to 93 cents per share. For fiscal 2015, HP is eyeing shares to drop between $3.83 to $4.03 a pop.

UPDATE: Reiterating 2014 marked HP's third year in its "five-year turnaround," Whitman assured shareholders during the quarterly conference call that the software maker is entering 2015 with the "strongest portfolio" in a decade.

Whitman spoke optimistically about the establishment of HP Enterprise and HP Inc. as two publicly-traded companies while reminding analysts and investors that these are still early days for the dramatic shift.

"We have already established a Separation Management Office tasked with driving the separation process," Whitman said, promising subsequent updates will be offered in the new year.

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