HP Q1 Revenue, Earnings Fall, But Prospects Grow On Channel Strengths

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HP's personal systems business revenue for the first quarter fell 8 percent over last year to $8.2 billion. Notebook PC shipments fell 14 percent, and revenue fell 16 percent over last year, but desktop PCs did much better, with unit shipments up 10 percent while revenue down 4 percent. HP's commercial PC business fell 4 percent over last year, a relatively mild slip when compared to the dramatic 13 percent decrease in consumer PC revenue.

However, Whitman said, HP did relatively well compared to the market, which was hit by weak demand, especially in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), as customers turned more towards other mobile devices. HP actually gained 1.4 points of worldwide market share over last year, including a strong 4.6-point gain in share in the U.S.

Whitman also bragged that HP was the first to release ultrabooks and tablet PCs for commercial users.

"It's going to take us some time to get back, but we've made some strong advances in the last year," she said.

Cathie Lesjak, HP executive vice president and CFO, said on the conference call that HP expects HP's personal systems revenue to fall in the second quarter vs. the first quarter because of an overall declining market situation, with weak demand and price competition for all of 2013 expected to erode margins.

Even so, when asked by a financial analyst about whether HP will consider breaking off its PC business, Whitman replied that HP is still better together as a whole company because of scale, supply chain and other factors.

"We have no plans to break up the company," she said.

HP's printing business revenue fell 5 percent year-over-year to $5.9 billion, with commercial printer hardware unit shipments falling 6 percent and consumer shipments falling 13 percent, leading to a supplies revenue drop of 5 percent.

However, Whitman said, HP's OfficeJet Pro sales rose 32 percent over last year, and HP is preparing to roll out the new OfficeJet Pro X series in the near future.

The HP Enterprise Group's revenue fell 4 percent over last year to reach $7.0 billion, with industry-standard server (ISS) revenue down 3 percent, storage revenue down 13 percent and Business Critical Server (BCS) revenue down 24 percent compared to last year.

That BCS revenue drop stems from pressure caused by HP's legal disputes with Oracle over development of software for HP's Itanium-based servers. Lesjak said phase 2 of the HP-Oracle trial, which will determine Oracle's liability, is scheduled to begin in the second quarter.

However, there were a couple of bright spots.

NEXT: HP's Enterprise Business Looking Good

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