Hurt just a little by the downturn, Hewlett Packard hit its expected financial targets as its reported net income fell 17 percent to $1.7 billion for the second fiscal quarter ended April 30.
Revenues for the world’s largest tech company were $27.4 billion, down 3 percent from $28.1 billion a year ago. (Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenues were up 3 percent).
Since HP’s sales didn’t crater, it’s likely that it gained market share in the recession. The report tells us that this recession isn’t so bad that it completely undermines the businesses of the tech giants. Rather, it seems the tech giants such as HP, Intel and Cisco are going strong even as the rest of the economy sputters.
Analysts had expected the diversified tech giant to report revenues of $27.4 billion and non-GAAP earnings of 86 cents per share. In that respect, HP was right on target. It’s worth noting that HP likely had a better quarter than other companies because its results are shifted by one month. That means if a recovery started in the first quarter, HP saw the benefits of an extra month of recovery.
Mark Hurd, chief executive of HP, said that the company saw solid revenues in its services business and that financial payoff from the acquisition of the services business EDS was running ahead of schedule. For the third fiscal quarter that ends in July, HP expects revenue to be down 2 percent from the second quarter. And for the fiscal year that ends in October, HP expects revenues to be down 4 percent to 5 percent. That’s all pretty much within expectations.
[Update: Hurd said the company plans to cut about 6,400 jobs in the next 12 months. HP said in September that it planned to cut more than 24,000 of its 302,000 jobs. And earlier this year it cut salaries 15 percent. Hurd also said in a conference call that HP is pricing its PCs to win market share at the expense of profits. Overall, Hurd said, the company’s bottom line was better than expected, but he said he wasn’t willing to predict that the economy as a whole would improve].
While services revenues were up 99 percent because of the EDS acquisition, the Imaging and Printing business was down 23 percent to $5.9 billion. Other businesses such as software, personal computers, storage and financial services were also down. HP has a war chest of $13 billion in cash. That’s less than half the size of Apple’s.