HP results disappoint ahead of split

HP has announced disappointing fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the company’s planned split aimed at reversing its recent decline

HP has announced disappointing fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the company’s planned split aimed at reversing its recent decline.

The recovery plan will see HP’s consumer computing and printing departments become a separate company, HP Inc.

By the end of the 2015 financial year, HP's software, business servers and IT services will also be formed into a separate company, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

HP hopes the split will enable it to focus on parts of the company that are more profitable.

According to analysts, HP has suffered from a lack of effective innovation in key segments such as cloud, tablets and mobility.

Ahead of the split, HP reported revenues of $28.4bn, a 2% decline compared with the fourth quarter of 2013 and below Wall Street expectations of $28.76bn.

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HP said profit fell by 5.7% compared with the same period in 2013 to $1.3bn, with revenues falling in almost every part of the business.

The biggest fourth-quarter declines compared with 2013 were for HP’s enterprise group, down by 4%; the printing group, down by 5%; and the enterprise services division, down by 7%.

However, the company’s profitable PC division revenue grew by 4% year on year, and was 12% up compared with the previous quarter.

The growth comes in the face of strong competition from Chinese PC maker Lenovo, which has dominated the world market since 2012.

The results dented investor confidence, with HP share value reportedly falling by up to 2.6% in after-hours trading.

Chairman, president and CEO at HP Meg Whitman said HP's turnaround continues to be on track. 

"In the financial year of 2014, we stabilised our revenue trajectory, strengthened our operations, showed strong financial discipline and, once again, made innovation the cornerstone of our company,” she said.

According to Whitman, HP’s product roadmaps are the best they have been in years and the company has the confidence of its partners and customers.

“There's still a lot left to do, but our efforts to date, combined with the separation we announced in October 2014, sets the stage for accelerated progress in the 2015 financial year and beyond,” she said in a statement.

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