HP Results Point to Declining Printer Sales

Printers are down, but PCs are up -- for now. That's the scenario presented by Hewlett-Packard when it discussed its third quarter earnings with analysts this week.

HP reported a quarterly profit of 49 cents per share, on revenue of $11.9 billion, compared with earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $12.4 billion for the same quarter last year. The company said its outlook for the current quarter is weaker than expected because of declining demand in the printer market.

But company president and CEO Dion Weisler said HP is gaining share in personal computers. HP outpaced analysts?EU? estimates for its third fiscal quarter in both revenues and earnings per share. But the company said its estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter will be lower than anticipated.

The personal computer market share was up in HP?EU?s third quarter, which ended July 31, according to Weisler. Revenue from personal systems was flat compared to a year ago at $7.5 billion, while commercial net revenue decreased 3 percent and consumer net revenue increased 8 percent, according to the company. Total units shipped were up 4 percent, with notebooks units up 12 percent and desktops units down 6 percent.

Analysts: PC Sales Weakening

Why the increase? Weisler attributed the momentum in the consumer PC market share to HP?EU?s ongoing effort to move into the upscale market with such high-end laptops as the HP Spectre 13 ultra-thin laptop and gaming PCs like the HP Omen PC gaming computer. Even so, industry analysts are projecting that PC sales will weaken during the year?EU?s third fiscal quarter, which ends on September 30.

The positive results in HP?EU?s PC sales might be a result of relatively buoyant numbers in that category overall. Last month IDC found that worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.4 million units in the second quarter of...

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