HP soars as Meg Whitman turnaround continues

HP soars as Meg Whitman turnaround continues
Photo provided by MGN Online

POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 2:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 2:04am

Hewlett-Packard is still struggling to turn itself around. But here's the good news for HP and CEO Meg Whitman: When Wall Street estimates are set at rock bottom, they're easy to beat.

HP's second-quarter earnings and revenue both slumped about 10 percent compared to a year ago, and sales in every individual HP business unit declined. But HP's profit of 82 cents per share was still better than what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected.

Revenue came in at $27.6 billion, just below estimates, but that wasn't enough to deter investors. Shares of HP soared 13 percent in after-hours trade on Wednesday following the report.

Whitman keeps warning that her company's turnaround won't be "linear," and she repeated that in the company's earnings release.

"I am encouraged by our performance in the second quarter, and I feel good about the rest of the year," Whitman said. "As I have said many times before, this is a multi-year journey."

Whitman, who has been at the helm for nearly two years, is trying to reinvent the PC-centric HP in a tablet and smartphone dominated world. HP has struggled to make major inroads in the mobile market, which is dominated by Apple and Android developer Google.

Whitman has been aggressive on cost-cutting. The company has plans to eliminate 29,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2014.

Still. as Whitman cuts to improve profits, all of HP's business lines continue to suffer. PC sales fell 20 percent from a year ago. Revenue from HP's two businesses that cater to so-called enterprise customers (i.e. large corporations) declined about 10 percent each, led by big drops in sales of servers and storage.

It wasn't as bad for printers, with sales falling just 1 percent. 

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