HP results show promise despite PC sales slump


Strong computer and printer sales over the holiday season have allowed HP Inc. to beat analysts' revenue estimates for Q4 despite the continued decline in PC sales worldwide. 

The Palo Alto-based company was able to earn its sixth consecutive quarter of revenue growth as a result of higher sales across all of its product lines during the period that ended on the January 31st.    

HP's sales came in at $14.5bn which was a 14 per cent jump from last year.  Analysts had predicted the company would generate $13.5bn in revenue during the period and its shares jumped by 9.3 per cent in late trading following the news.   

HP has been able to avoid the PC Industry's current slump by offering higher-end computers to customers and expanding its printer business with the release of 3-D printers aimed at manufacturers.  During the last quarter, its customers turned away from cheaper devices in favour of more premium systems and machines designed for gaming. 

The company's Chief Executive Officer Dion Weisler offered his thoughts on HP's performance, saying: “We've delivered what we said we would do.  We outpaced the market growth in every single region.” 

The operating margin for its computer division fell from 3.8 per cent a year earlier to 3.6 per cent though the printing division helped make up for this with a 15.8 per cent margin that also fell from last year's 16 per cent. 

HP's personal-systems unit, that includes its computer business, brought in sales of $9.44bn which was up 15 per cent from last year.  The company's high-end computers have grown more attractive to consumers and this allowed it to become the top PC supplier worldwide last year.  According to the IDC, HP shipped 16.6 million computers during the holiday season to account for almost a quarter of the total market. 

By offering consumers a more high-end product during a time when it has become cheaper to buy a pre-built computer due to cryptocurrency mining, HP was able to capitalise on consumer demand for fast and powerful PCs. 

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