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HP CEO Weisler: Best Product Line Ever Drives 'Incredible' 12 Percent PC Growth, HP On Track To Ship One Of Every Four PCs

Steven Burke

HP CEO Dion Weisler says the best product line in the company's history "hands down" helped deliver an "incredible" 12 percent growth in the PC business in the most recent quarter with the company on track to ship one out of every four PCs in a $333 billion market.

"About one in five machines (currently) has got an HP logo on it, and it is very quickly becoming one in four, we are creeping up there," said Weisler (pictured) in a conference call with analysts after HP delivered another strong quarter of sales performance for both PCs and printers. "The top four players (HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Apple) – including us – in aggregate grew 1 percent and we grew a five point premium to that. The big are getting bigger, and we are growing much faster than the big four in total," said Weisler.

[Related: Head-To-Head: HP Spectre x360 Vs. Apple MacBook Pro]

In fact, Weisler said HP bested the overall PC market unit growth by "9.5 points" year-over-year in the second calendar quarter remaining the number one global PC market share leader with 22.8 percent share. "We saw year-over-year share gains in each region with Americas increasing share by nearly three points in both consumer and commercial," he said.

Weisler said the strong PC results – which included a return to growth for HP's desktop business – were a direct result of HP's PC innovation. He said the desktop sales growth was a testament to HP's "on-going reinvention" of the product line. "I think we have the best product line we have ever had," he said.

That said, Weisler stressed that share gains are "an outcome" rather than an objective in what he called a "stellar" performance by the Personal Systems team. "Profitable growth will continue to be our priority," he said, noting that personal systems operating profits, margins and sales grew sequentially despite "industry wide component" price increases.

For the third fiscal quarter ended July 31, HP reported personal systems sales of $8.40 billion compared with $7.51 billion in the year ago quarter. Commercial PC sales – including notebooks - were up 11 percent and consumer system sales were up 14 percent.

The strong results marked the third consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth for the personal systems business even with price increases in the wake of a rise in components such as memory.
Overall HP reported non-GAAP diluted net earnings of 43 cents per share on a 10 percent increase in sales to $13.1 billion. The Wall Street consensus was earnings per share of 42 cents, on sales of $12.28 billion.

In an interview with CRN, Weisler said the strong results went far beyond PCs with strong execution on all fronts with HP working hand-in-hand with HP channel partners to drive sales growth. "I don't think there is a company out there doing more with and through the partners than us," he said. "It is the second consecutive quarter where both our core markets – printing and PCs – returned to growth."

Among the highlights of the quarter was the second straight quarter of printer sales growth helped in part by a "stabilizing" of the all important printer supplies business, one quarter earlier than expected. HP's supplies net revenue was up 10 percent in constant currency in the quarter.

Overall, printing sales were up 6 percent in the quarter to $4.69 billion compared with $4.42 billion in the year-ago quarter. That growth includes strong channel performance in managed print and the instant ink subscription program, said Weisler.

HP's A3 copier replacement portfolio is being well received in its first full quarter in the market, said Weisler. "These are the most secure printers in the world," he said. "The customer reception has been positive, and we are adding channel partners ahead of plan."

Harry Zarek, CEO of Compugen, one of HP's top enterprise partners, No. 63 on the CRN 2017 Solution Provider 500, said he sees the strong results reflected in Compugen's HP business which grew at a double digit clip in the most recent quarter.

Zarek said he sees HP succeeding as a result of its innovative, breakthrough products in both the PC and printing markets. "Customers are willing to buy premium brands," he said. "This is not about a low-cost commodity. Customers understand that in the battle for talent, they have to make their companies an attractive place that people want to work at. You can't say your most important asset is people and then give them old technology. These people are on all the time. They are online and working hard. You have got to empower them the right tools. HP has figured this thing out. They have developed and designed products that are very appealing."

Zarek said he expects Compugen's HP business to be up double digits for the year. "We expect our HP sales to continue to strengthen through the remainder of the year," he said."The whole market is responding very positively to HP which is great news."

Weisler, for his part, said the company's "incredible products and innovation" are driving the strong results. "Innovation is what so exciting," he told CRN. "When we can innovate, and our customers value our innovation, and they order our products, and we get 10 percent growth year-over-year that is the best reward our entire team can get."

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