Why HP Inc. Stock Climbed 42% in 2017

MarketsMotley Fool

What happened

Shares of personal-computer and printer company HP (NYSE: HPQ) surged in 2017, climbing 41.6%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock's sharp rise was driven by accelerated growth as personal systems revenue growth hit double digits and printing revenue reversed from declines to growth.

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"Our results demonstrate that HP is strong and getting stronger," said HP CEO Dion Weisler in the company's fourth-quarter earnings release in November. Weisler is right. Not only is HP growing in both of its main segments -- personal systems and print -- but it's also seeing double-digit growth in all three of its geographic regions.

So what

The biggest highlight from the year was HP's revitalized print business. Consider the different trajectories of HP's printing revenue in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and its fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. In Q4 2017, printing revenue climbed 7% year over year. In Q4 2016, however, revenue in the segment was down 8% year over year.

Efforts that helped revitalize its printing business include an automated printing supply ordering system, the diversification of its printing business into new products like its Sprocket mobile printer, and a bet on the A3 copier market with its acquisition of Samsung's printing business.

Now what

Highlighting management's outlook for continued momentum, it recently raised its guidance for fiscal 2018 EPS. Management expects EPS between $1.70 and $1.80. This would mark a meaningful increase from full-year fiscal 2017 EPS of $1.48.

In light of its strong revenue growth in fiscal 2017, management said its year-over-year comparisons will be "much tougher" in fiscal 2018, but management also said it's "ready for it."

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.