HP confounds analysts with quarterly sales upturn

PC surge mainly responsible; CEO Whitman points to IBM-Lenovo uncertainty

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HP confounds analysts with quarterly sales upturn Whitman: It's a turnaround in a declining business.
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 21, 2014

HP surprised analysts with a mild upturn in sales for its third fiscal quarter, instead of Wall Street's projected dip, Reuters reported.

PC revenue was up by 12%, but poor returns from other divisions dragged overall sales down to a growth figure of 1%. Quarterly revenue stood at $27.6bn, up from $27.2bn in the year-earlier period, while analysts had predicted $27.01bn.

Chief executive Meg Whitman is in the midst of a long-term turnaround plan that revolves around the former PC market leader shedding its reliance on PC sales. Whitman has long favoured a focus on enterprise business, such as servers, storage and infrastructure, which traditionally yields higher margins.

"It's a turnaround in a declining business," said Whitman. She highlighted a 9% surge in server sales, attributing the boon to jitters surrounding Lenovo's deal with IBM to buy the US giant's low-end server unit.

"We've been able to capitalize on that uncertainty and our win rates are up against IBM," Whitman said.

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