Tech

HP jumps on earnings beat and rising PC notebook sales

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Key Points
  • HP's PC notebook sales jumped in the quarter as the coronavirus pandemic kept people home and in need of devices for school and work.
  • Dell, another PC maker, showed an increase in consumer device revenue during roughly the same period.
Enrique Lores, CEO, HP
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

HP shares rose as much as 9% in extended trading on Tuesday after the PC maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates and provided an optimistic earnings forecast.

  • Earnings: 62 cents per share, adjusted, vs. 52 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $15.3 billion vs. $14.7 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue declined for the fourth consecutive quarter on an annualized basis. It fell about 1% in the quarter, which ended Oct. 31, according to a statement.

HP is forecasting 64 cents to 70 cents in adjusted earnings per share in the fiscal first quarter, higher than the Refinitiv consensus of 54 cents.

The company's largest business segment, Personal Systems, which includes PC notebooks and desktops, delivered $10.4 billion in revenue, flat year over year and below the $10.5 billion consensus among analysts polled by FactSet. Within that unit, sales of notebooks rose 18% to $7.41 billion as people sought out computers to help them work and learn from home because of the coronavirus pandemic. The overall segment was pulled down by desktop and workstation declines.

HP more than doubled unit sales of and revenue from Chromebook PCs running Google's Chrome OS operating system, said Marie Myers, HP's chief transformation officer and acting chief financial officer, on a conference call with analysts. She succeeded Steve Fieler, who left in the quarter to join Google.

Also on Tuesday, PC maker Dell reported fiscal third-quarter results and said sales of consumer devices, including PCs, were up 14% from a year earlier in the quarter that ended Oct. 30.

HP continues to deal with component shortages, and the company expects that trend to limit growth in the first half of the 2021 fiscal year, with people continuing to stay home, CEO Enrique Lores said on the call. Constrained supplies of chips and display panels could hurt HP's ability to meet notebook demand in particular, Myers said. She said people will continue to seek out less expensive products.

Excluding the after-hours jump, HP shares are up 6% since the start of the year, while the S&P 500 has gained about 13% over the same period.

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