HP Inc. Reports Strong Earnings Growth in Line With Forecasts

By Aisha Al-MuslimFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

HP Inc. (HPQ) reported strong earnings growth in the fourth quarter, in line with analysts' expectations, aided by increasing revenue from sales of its computers and printing supplies.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company reported a profit from continuing operations for the quarter of $660 million, or 39 cents a share, up from $492 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 11% to $13.9 billion. After adjustments, the company reported earnings of 44 cents a share.

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"Our results demonstrate that HP is strong and getting stronger," Chief Executive Dion Weisler said in prepared remarks.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast adjusted earnings of 44 cents per share on $13.35 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Revenue from personal systems, including notebooks and desktops, was up 13% in the quarter compared with a year earlier. Printing, including supplies and hardware, was up 7%.

The personal systems and printing segments comprise the bulk of the company's business since it spun off Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2015.

HP, which is among the largest makers of personal computers, has been gaining market share in world-wide personal computer shipments. It has been battling for the title of largest PC maker with Lenovo Group, while focusing on higher-profit segments such as gaming and convertible laptops.

Mr. Weisler has said he is interested in taking market share in PCs only if it can be done profitably. The company said its operating margin in the personal systems segment was 3.8% in the latest quarter, up from 3.7% in the third quarter, but down from 4.3% in the fourth quarter in 2016.

For the fiscal year, the computer and printer maker posted $2.5 billion in profit, or $1.48 a share, down from $2.7 billion, or $1.53 a share, in 2016. Revenue increased 8% to $52.1 billion. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.65, up 3%.

Analysts had forecast adjusted earnings of $1.65 per share on revenue of $51.39 billion for the year.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2018, HP estimates earnings per share to be in the range of 38 cents to 42 cents. For the full year, the tech giant estimates earnings per share to be between $1.70 and $1.80.

Write to Aisha Al-Muslim at aisha.al-muslim@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 21, 2017 16:43 ET (21:43 GMT)