HPE Q4 tops estimates despite net loss from tax charge

The enterprise player reported fourth quarter net loss of $757 million, or 52 cents a share.

HPE on Tuesday delivered fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 results that topped market estimates, despite slower growth in several business lines.

The enterprise software player reported fourth quarter net loss of $757 million, or 52 cents a share, on revenue of $7.9 billion, up four percent from a year ago. Excluding charges, HPE delivered earnings of 45 cents a share.

Wall Street was looking for third quarter non-GAAP earnings of 43 cents a share with $7.84 billion in revenue. For the fiscal year, HPE reported revenue of $30.9 billion with EPS of $1.56. Analysts were looking for $30.73 billion with EPS of $1.53.

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HPE said fourth quarter revenue for its hybrid IT group was $6.4 billion, up 5 percent year over year, with compute revenue up 9 percent, storage revenue up 6 percent and DC networking revenue up 2 percent. Revenue from HPE's Pointnext services was down 3 percent.

Meanwhile, HPE said intelligent edge revenue was $814 million, up 17 percent from a year ago, and financial services revenue was $939 million, down 7 percent from last year. HPE's Aruba product revenue was up 17 percent and Aruba services revenue was up 16 percent.

In terms of outlook, analysts are expecting HPE to deliver first quarter earnings of 35 cents a share with revenue of $7.68 billion. HPE responded with first quarter non-GAAP earnings between 33 cents and 37 cents a share. For the fiscal year the company expects non-GAAP EPS to be in the range of $1.51 to $1.61 -- in line with analyst estimates for $1.53 a share.

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"Hewlett Packard Enterprise delivered another impressive quarter in Q4, concluding a very successful fiscal year 2018 marked by significant transformation and achievement," said HPE chief executive Antonio Neri, in prepared remarks. "We excelled in delivering differentiated new capabilities for our customers that drove meaningful top line growth while expanding margins that fueled strong cash flow and shareholder returns."