HP serves up bland post-Fiorina Q1

She who must not be named

After evicting CEO Carly Fiorina, HP today reported first quarter earnings that were neither spectacular or horrific. They were so-so.

HP pulled in $21.5bn in revenue during the period, which is a 10 per cent rise over the $19.5bn posted one year ago. Adjusted for currency, HP's revenue rose just 5 per cent, so here's thanking a weak dollar for making the company look good. HP's profit came in at $943m or 32 cents per share, which compares with a profit of $936m or 30 cents per share last year.

Analysts had been looking for earnings of 34 cents per share on $21bn in revenue.

"While we continue to make progress in growing our top line, there is work to be done to improve our profitability," said interim CEO and CFO Bob Wayman during a conference call with analysts. "As the board conducts a CEO search, our management team is focused on driving improved execution to serve our customers, strengthen our competitiveness and improve shareholder value."

During today's conference call, Wayman insisted that financial analysts not raise questions about Fiorina's firing. The analysts dutifully obeyed Wayman and stuck to the standard margin and hardware woes interrogation. Did Fiorina listen in to the call? Or is she already off spending millions on luxury cruises and fine wine? Does anyone care?

If you were looking for a clear disaster in the quarter to explain Fiorina's departure, you won't find it.

HP's revenue in EMEA jumped 12 per cent to $9.3bn, and revenue in Asia rose 15 per cent to $3.3bn. Sales in the Americas increased just 6 per cent to $8.9n.

The PC business reported a profit of $147m - an increase of $87m year-over-year - on $6.9bn in revenue. The Imaging and Printing group saw revenue rise 3 per cent to $6.1bn and posted a profit of $932m. This profit from the typically stellar unit was actually down $35m from the same period last year.

HP's enterprise hardware business pulled in $4.0bn in revenue - up 9 per year-over-year - boosted by sales of Xeon- and Opteron-based servers. This unit's profit fell to $71m from $153m last year.

HP's services business grew revenue 20 per cent to $3.8bn. It posted a profit of $281m in this year's first quarter versus a profit of $261m last year. HP's software unit continued to struggle, posting a loss of $40m on $240m in revenue.

HP is looking for second quarter revenue to come in between $21.2bn and $21.6bn. ®

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