PALO ALTO — HP on Wednesday reported third-quarter results that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations and added support to the company’s ability to buck the broader-market declines afflicting much of the personal-computer industry.
HP said that for the quarter ended July 31, its PC sales grew by 12 percent from a year ago, to reach $8.4 billion. Total PC shipments rose 7 percent, as a 12-percent gain in notebook shipments helped counter a 3 percent decline in the number of desktop PCs the company shipped in the quarter.
With its PC sales taking the lead, HP reported a profit, excluding one-time items, of 43 cents a share, on $13.06 billion in sales, compared to earnings of 48 cents a share, on revenue of $11.9 billion a year ago. While HP’s earnings declined from the same period last year, the company’s results surpassed the estimates of Wall Street analysts, who had forecast HP to earn 42 cents a share, on $12.3 billion in revenue.
It was the fourth-straight quarter of year-over-year sales gains for HP, which took over the PC and printer business from the old Hewlett-Packard when that company split in two in late 2015.
Speaking on a conference call, HP Chief Executive Dion Weisler said Wednesday’s report is “showcasing the execution of our strategy” that has been in place since HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise went their separate ways.
“We reinvented ourselves and our company,” Weisler said. “It’s a long journey (and) there is much work for us to do.”
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, called HP’s results “tremendous,” and said the performance of the PC business was the “biggest surprise” of the report.
“HP is taking PC market share from some of the top four PC players, not just smaller players,” Moorhead said. “All of this PC growth came during a supply-constrained storage situation, which made the growth all that challenging.”
HP’s performance added some support to the data from technology research firm Gartner, which in July said that HP was the top seller of PCs around the world during the second quarter of this year. Gartner said that for the three months of April, May and June, HP shipped 12.7 million PCs, a 3.3 percent increase from a year ago. Those results gave HP 20.8 percent of the worldwide PC market in second quarter.
In addition to its strong PC performance, HP said sales from printers and printing products rose 6 percent from a year ago, to $4.7 billion. Printer hardware shipments rose just 1 percent, but revenue from printing supplies posted a gain of 10 percent over last year’s third quarter.
And Tim Bajarin, longtime Bay Area tech analyst and president of research firm Creative Strategies, said HP can’t think that it’s time to start resting on its laurels.
“HP has a solid line up of PCs, laptops and desktops, but they continue to see strong competition and will need to continue to innovate if they want to see any growth and better revenue in the coming quarters,” Bajarin said.
For its fiscal fourth quarter, HP said it expected to earn 42 cent to 45 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Analysts had forecast HP to earn 44 cents a share, on $12.8 billion, for the quarter that ends in October.
In after-hours trading, HP shares were down by 1 percent at $18.86.
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