Hewlett-Packard Earnings: It Could Have Been Worse

Hewlett-Packard suffered a massive decline in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, but it still performed better than what analysts expected.

HP reported earnings of 82 cents, down 11 percent from last year but well ahead of the 71 cents the Street forecasted. Sales stood at $28.4 billion, better than the consensus estimate, but 6 percent less than what the company reported for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Hewlett-Packard certainly didn’t give its investors any reason to celebrate, but its stock is nonetheless up 12.28 percent at $19.20. The reason?  The company didn’t have any nasty surprises either.  HP Chief executive officer Meg Whitman even made this optimistic statement:

“We beat our non-GAAP diluted EPS outlook for the quarter by $0.11 per share, driven by improved execution, improvement in our channel and go-to-market efforts and the impact of the restructuring program we announced in May 2012,” said Whitman. “While there’s still a lot of work to do to generate the kind of growth we want to see, our turnaround is starting to gain traction as a result of the actions we took in 2012 to lay the foundation for HP’s future.”

HP still has a long way to go, but it’s still faring better than long time rival Dell. For the fourth quarter ended January 31, the soon to be privatized manufacturer reported a 31 decline in net income on sales of $14.3 billion – just above the average analyst estimate of $14.2 billion. The company’s business generated 24 percent less revenue than 12 months ago, but sales of servers and networking equipment were up 18 percent.

Both Dell and HP want to become enterprise vendor, and they’re making a lot of progress, but making the transition is going to be hard for Dell with less money in the bank.