Top of the Order:
The Golden Child: Nearly two years ago, when Meg Whitman oversaw the breakup of Hewlett-Packard into two separate companies, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, there was a sense throughout Silicon Valley and on Wall Street that the move was the last siren on HP’s retreat in the personal-computer market.
Before we go too far, let’s do a brief primer on who is doing what in the HP world. HP Inc. (also known as HP), took on the old company’s personal-computer and printing businesses. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), got things like computer servers, storage, software and networking. It also got Whitman as its chief executive.
With almost everyone lamenting the decline and fall of the PC, HP was seen by many as a company that would probably just hang around for a bit as its PC business dried up before finally selling whatever technology it had of worth to some other rival. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the end of the PC market.
That thing was HP found a way to grow. Sure, overall PC sales worldwide continue to fall. But even during times of decline, there is still an opportunity to take market share and build up sales. And that’s what HP has done. During the last year, HP has reported four consecutive quarters of year-over-year sales growth. And on Wednesday, HP turned in a quarter of better-than-expected earnings and revenue led by PC sales of $8.4 billion, a 12 percent gain over the same period a year ago. Unit sales also rose by 7 percent.
And on Thursday, that’s why investors sent HP shares up by more than 4 percent, to a 52-week intra-day high of $19.78.
Rob Enderle, technology analyst and head of the Enderle Group consultancy, said HP’s recent performance flies in the face of what was expected of the company when it was told to go out and make it on its own.
“They were set up to fail,” Enderle said. “It should now be clear that the whole ‘PC is in decline’ thing was largely a self-fulfilling prophecy. When anyone focuses on selling the things, and doing demand generation, like HP has, they can sell an impressive number of them.”
Meanwhile, HPE, the big brother of the former Hewlett-Packard, has sold off things like software and spun out its consulting services business, while acquiring companies like Nimble Storage, and has had a hard time maintaining consistent earnings and sales growth. And reports suggest that Wall Street could be losing patience with Whitman.
On Sept. 5, we’ll get a look at how HPE is performing. Its results may show whether little brother HP is the real pride of the old Hewlett-Packard family.
Uber and the Supremes: Oh, Uber, it’s never a dull moment with the ride-sharing company. When it’s not rumors about who may be Uber’s next CEO, it’s one court case after another. And now, it involves the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court. Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer who wrote a blog post that after a while led to resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick, has filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court as part of a series of cases involving Uber’s arbitration agreements with its employees.
Bottom of the Lineup:
Lawyering Up: It looks like any hope Google may have had for James Damore going away is lost. Damore, as you probably know by now, is the engineer Google recently fired after he sent a lengthy email to Google employees that called into question the company’s diversity policies. And Damore has hired high-powered Republican and San Francisco lawyer Harmeet Dhillon to represent him in any legal proceedings he may take against Google.
Quote of the Day: “Our new data center in Iowa will help serve millions of people across North America who use Siri, iMessage, Apple Music and other Apple services — all powered by renewable energy.” Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press release announcing Apple’s plans to build two new data centers near Des Moines, Iowa.
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