HP prints its way to Q4 profit

HP prints its way to Q4 profit

HP continued to rely on its strong printing and imaging division to keep up the health of its overall business in its fourth fiscal quarter, as its PC, server and storage products again suffered from weak demand.

HP posted revenue of US$18 billion for the fourth quarter, to October 31. This compared to the combined revenue of US$18.2 billion from HP and Compaq in the same quarter last year.

HP also said that it would lay off an additional 1,100 workers as a result of the merger, in addition to its most recent target of 16,800. Most of the additional job cuts will be made in Japan, said Carly Fiorina, HP's chairman and CEO.

Net income came in at US$390 million, compared with a combined HP/Compaq net loss of US$505 million in last year's fourth fiscal quarter.

The printing and imaging business churned out US$5.6 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, marking a 12 per cent increase year-on-year.

HP's personal systems unit, which includes PCs, workstations, notebooks and handheld PCs, was down 6 per cent year-on-year to US$5.1 billion.

HP's flagging enterprise business, which includes servers, software and storage products, continued to show losses. Revenue declined 5 per cent compared to the same quarter last year, to US$4.1 billion and an operating loss of US$152 million.

Despite HP's efforts to bolster its software line with new products, revenue from software tumbled 15 per cent year-over-year.

The company's services business -- a key driver for its merger with Compaq -- also fell in the quarter. It declined 3 per cent year-on-year to US$3.1 billion in revenue.

HP saw revenue growth in most regions when compared to last year. Revenue from the US rose 8.7 per cent, from Europe it surged 13.6 per cent, and in the Asia-Pacific region it rose 5.7 per cent. Not including the US, revenue for the rest of the Americas fell 2.8 per cent.

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