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Whitman asks for patience as HP sales slide


By Reuters

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 at 09:58

HP's CEO Meg Whitman said it will take time for the company to recover as it posted a 44% fall in earnings.

HP posted quarterly sales fell 7% to $30 billion, with declines in three of its key units: personal computers, printers and enterprise equipment. HP reported net income of $1.47 billion for the quarter, down from $2.6 billion a year earlier.

Whitman, who took the top job last September after the firing of Leo Apotheker, has been trying to turn around HP's sprawling businesses.

"If you look at business history and you look at companies which have gone through the kind of turnaround that we're leading HP through right now, these things are not quick," she said, adding it could anywhere from two to five years.

It took us a while to get into the situation in which we find ourselves. It's going to take us a little while to get out

"It took us a while to get into the situation in which we find ourselves. It's going to take us a little while to get out."

Last year was a turbulent one for the company, marked by strategy flip-flops, executive churn and the ouster of Apotheker after less than a year in the top job.

No bright spots

Sales from the personal systems group, encompassing PCs, declined 15%, which executives blamed partly on a persistent shortage of hard drives globally - the result of flooding last year in Thailand.

Revenue from its bread-and-better printing group - which Whitman called the "lifeblood" of the company - fell 7%, hurt by weak consumer demand as the US economy continued to struggle.

Even sales of enterprise servers, storage and networking equipment - usually a bright point for HP - fell 10%.

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User comments

My money is on

she doesn't have a clue what she is doing and will be gone by Christmas

By gavmeister on 23 Feb 2012


HP is unfixable. it needs to be broken up and sold in bits.

By gavmeister on 23 Feb 2012


What HP needs to do is work on improving the quality of their products - their laptops and desktop computers are always plagued with defects - and sooner or later people start to notice and stop buying.

By arthur_cabot on 25 Feb 2012

HP will rise like the proverbial Phoenix

Whitman has a huge task after years of Hurd cutting down beyond the bone and then the incompetent Apotheker trying to turn a hardware & services company into a software company. But the facts remain they are one of only 2 companies who have the global reach demanded by the large enterprise customers.
They will have to evolve as the PC gives way to mobile devices but HP have come through worse than this.

By dsolds on 15 Mar 2012

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