HP CEO Says The Company Is 'On The Right Track And Investing In Our Partners'

HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler is out to "radically simplify and enhance" the way his company engages with partners as it confronts a competitive market, especially in its PC and printer businesses.

"Our core markets are still in flux, and we believe the change will only accelerate," Weisler said during a conference call to discuss the company's fourth-quarter earnings. "Macro and market conditions are uncertain. We know how to operate in up and down markets, and we're prepared to tackle the challenges.

"We're making Partner First updates, and we're going to radically simplify and enhance partner enhance partner engagement. We're on the right track and investing in our partners to help grow our business," Weisler said.

It's been a year since HP Inc. split from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Weisler's unit gained its independence amid of maelstrom of market forces upending the PC and printer markets.

Related: CRN Exclusive: HP CEO Weisler On The HP Split Anniversary, The Acquisition of Samsung's Printer Business And 2017 Outlook

As the global PC market contracts, its dominant vendors – HP Inc., Dell and Lenovo – battle for market share. In North America, HP frequently trades places with Dell as the top-selling PC brand. Worldwide, HP Inc. and Dell are rapidly gaining ground on Lenovo.

"Last year we faced headwinds, difficult market conditions," Weisler said, adding that the company's restructuring efforts have been accelerated while maintaining "key investments in innovation."

"The PC market is operating as we expected it to," Weisler said. "There's uncertainty in the market, it hasn't returned to growth, but we've adjusted much more quickly than many of our competitors as a result of being an independent company.

"Overall it's a tough and competitive market. We're outperforming the market as a whole and the competition. We're forcing our competitors to raise their bar if they want to compete for the hearts and minds of premium customers."

Stephen Monteros, senior vice president at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif.-based solution provider that works with HP Inc., said his HP business was "down slightly" in the last year, but noted that he expects improvement. "They just refreshed some old lines, and it should pick up," he said.

Revenue from HP's printer business declined 8.2 percent year-over-year. The company said in September that it would buy Samsung's printer business for a little more than $1 billion. The company also expects to begin delivering new A3 printer solutions in April, Weisler said.

HP's Q4 profit declined to $492 million, about 28 cents a share, from $1.32 billion, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 2 percent to $12.51 billion.

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The company said it expects a profit of 35-38 cents a share in the first quarter. Analysts were expecting 38 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.