PC demand up, as workers turn back to PC for “real work” says CEO

HP first quarter results to  put it “in a stronger position than we’ve been in quite some time,” Meg Whitman, HP CEO, said today. 

The company’s ‘Personal Systems’ PC division saw sales up 4%. Desktops fell 3% but Notebook demand rose 5% in Q1 2014 to 31 Jan, as HP launched a Windows 7 PC drive, back “due to popular demand” campaign, last month. 

“There is some momentum in the long-overdue PC refresh,” Whitman said in an investor call.  

“While employees may want a tablet, they need a traditional PC to do their real work.” 

Commercial revenue also rose 8%. 

But HP’s first quarter revenue down 1% to $28.2 billion, it said today.   

Profits also rose to US$1.4bn, beating analysts forecasts and marking a rise on last quarter and year on year.

HP Consumer business fell, as did Software (- 4%) although software-as-a-service (SaaS) rose 6%, HP Enterprise revenue was also down. 
“The progress we’re making is reflected in growth across several parts of our portfolio, the growing strength of our balance sheet, and the strong support we’re receiving from customers and channel partners,” Whitman declared. 

“Innovation is igniting our comeback, and at a time when many of our competitors are confronting new challenges, two years of turnaround work is setting us up for an exciting future.”

First quarter non-GAAP diluted net earnings per share rose to $0.90, up 10% from Q1 2013, and above the outlook of $0.82 -$0.86 per share. 

The company returned $843 million to shareholders in the quarter. 

H-P, one of the worlds biggest PC makers, saw its net cash position improved by $1.6 billion, the eighth consecutive quarterly improvement of over $1 billion. 

For the fiscal 2014 second quarter, HP estimates non-GAAP diluted net EPS to be in the range of $0.85 to $0.89.  
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