Annex Bulletin 2012-03 February 22, 2012
A partially OPEN edition
Oracle Runs Out of Oracles (Analysis of latest quarterly results)
Updated 2/22/12, 11:30AM HST
Analysis of Hewlett-Packard's First Quarter FY12 Business Results
Waning of PC Era Hurts HP
PC Sales Drop 15%, Earnings Plummet 40%; No New Game Plan in Sight
HAIKU, Maui, Feb 22, 2012 - The world's second largest computer company just got smaller. Hewlett-Packard reported its first quarter FY 2012 earnings a few minutes ago and the picture is not pretty. Revenues are down 7% to $30 billion, driven by double-digit declines in PC (-15%) and in Enterprise servers (-10%) businesses, and a 7% drop in its "cash cow," the Imaging and Printing unit. As a result, net earnings plummeted 44% while operating margin slipped 3.7 points. Ouch.
So what does it all mean? That the new CEO Meg Whitman is unable to right the listing ship? Yes and no. When shrinkages become so widespread as they are in HP, NOBODY can right a listing ship that quickly. Not any more that you could expect such miracles in the case of "Costa Concordia" (still stuck on the rocks in Italy):
When Meg Whitman was named new CEO the last August, we said that she "will probably need to jump through some incredibly high hoops in order to regain Wall Street's confidence. She failed to do that in the political arena three years ago (left) as had another former HP CEO, Carly Fiorina. Well, that's one thing the two ladies have in common." FAILURE.
In other words, it would have taken a miracle to turn HP around that fast. Well, miracles did not happen. And the latest results show it.
Last year, HP suffered the humiliation of having Apple surpass it as the world's largest computer company. In 2012, with Apple growing through the roof and HP shrinking, the gap between the two is widening. But the numbers merely mirror the big picture changes that are taking place.
Apple is a company that has been able to reinvent itself over and over again. Big Blue is another company that has shown such ability over an even longer period of time (Apple is 36 years old, IBM is 101). HP, on the other hand, has the feet of clay. It is still stuck on the past... the PC era, the printing hardware, the decaying server product lines...
So the latest numbers merely reflect for all to see how the waning of the era of PCs and hardware is exposing the companies with clay feet who are still stuck in the past.
We do not envy the HP shareholders anymore than we envy the Carnival Cruise lines owners. Both will have to come up with a new game plan... QUICKLY. Or sink.
Which is what the HP stock did today. It dropped like a rock, down 6.5%. HP shares are down 38% since a year ago. Ouch.
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Have a nice day.
Happy bargain hunting
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