HP results rely on EDS, services

HP late yesterday revealed steep declines across its various hardware, software and services divisions at the end of its fiscal quarter of 2009.

Despite this, the IT vendor scraped a one per cent increase on revenue of $28.8 billion (20 billion), compared to the same quarter ending 31 January last year.

Excluding one-time items on a pro forma basis, net income equalled that of its first quarter in 2008 at $2.3 billion (1.6 billion), but earnings per share rose from $0.86 to $0.93 (60 to 65 pence).

HP's services division was largely responsible for keeping its finances in the black, contributing one third of its profit, according to Cathie Lesjak, HP chief financial officer.

Services revenue grew 116 per cent to $8.7 billion (6 billion), primarily due to HP's acquisition of EDS.

Mark Hurd, HP's chief executive, told analysts that HP had benefited from the fact that services move "counter-cyclical to the economy," as companies look to cut costs through the downturn by outsourcing non-core operations.

He also said HP may have received more of a boost from the troubles at outsourcing competitor Satyam.

The company also said it was progressing with its integration of EDS ahead of schedule and had cut 9,000 of the 25,000 job cuts planned as part of the deal.

Revenue from the HP Personal Systems Group, which includes its PC sales, declined 19 per cent year-on-year to $8.8 billion (5.98 billion). Unit shipments fell four per cent, where desktop revenue dived by 25 per cent and notebook revenue declined 13 per cent.

HP Enterprise Storage and Servers group reported revenue down 18 per cent to $3.9 billion (2.7 billion) year-on-year.

The Imaging and Printing Group also posted a loss, with revenue down 19 per cent to $6 billion (4.2 billion), where unit shipments dropped by a third.

HP Software revenue also fell seven per cent to $878 million (610.5 million) and financial services revenue decreased one per cent to $636 million (442.2 million).

Hurd said lower-cost enterprise kit may attract sales in the short-term, while organisations and consumers were more likely to put off major investments.

Lesjak added that the company is targeting further cost savings by reducing employee base salaries and benefits.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.