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Hewlett Packard (HPE) Q2 Earnings Miss, Q3 Guidance Weak

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company HPE reported lower-than-expected bottom-line results for second-quarter fiscal 2017, which also declined year over year. The company’s non-GAAP earnings of 25 cents per share came below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents and were significantly lower than its guidance range of 33–37 cents. Also, the figure plunged 24.2% on a year-over-year basis.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported loss of 29 cents from continuing operations against earnings of 18 cents reported in the year-ago quarter. It also compared unfavorably with the guided range of a loss of 3–7 cents.

Per the company, the dismal bottom-line performance was mainly due to decline in revenues and “a one-time non-cash GAAP-only valuation allowance of our U.S. state domestic deferred tax assets resulting from the changes were legal structure related to the spinoff of enterprise services.”

Notably, during the quarter the company completed the spin-merger of its Enterprise Services business. Therefore, Hewlett Packard considered Enterprise Services as a discontinued operation in the fiscal second quarter. Furthermore, the company expects the pending spin-merger of its Software business to close by the end of this summer.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Quote

Quarter in Detail


Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported revenues from continuing operations (which includes Enterprise Group, HPE Financial Services and Software businesses) of $7.445 billion, down 12.5% from the year-ago quarter’s revenues of $8.509 billion. Combined net revenue, which also includes the discontinued operations of Enterprise Services business, came in at $9.9 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at $9.854 billion.

The year-over-year decline was mainly due to reduced server unit sales, decline in software sales, competitive pricing, heightened commodities pricing pressure, unfavorable exchange rates, soft market condition and some execution issues. Adjusted for currency exchange rates and divestures, the company’s revenues from continuing operations were down just 5% year over year. Unfavorable currency exchange rates adversely affected revenues by 80 basis points (bps).

During the reported quarter, the company witnessed uneven global demand across all regions. In the U.S., sales were stable as the impact from reduced software and Tier 1 server sales were offset by improved sales of core servers and strong growth in networking business. Europe’s contribution remained weak, while the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region registered mixed demand, with encouraging performance in Japan and India that was more than offset by dismal performance in the rest of Asia.

Segment wise, revenues at the Enterprise Group were down 13% from the year-ago quarter to $6.2 billion. However, adjusting for divestures and currency, segment revenues were down 7% mainly due to sustained commodities pricing pressure. Revenues from Servers, Storage, Networking and Technology Services were down 14%, 13%, 30% and 2%, respectively.

Software revenues declined 11% to $685 million. Adjusted for divestures and currency, the segment’s revenues were down 9% when compared with the year-ago quarter. Revenues from License, Support and Professional Services were down 29%, 4% and 17%, respectively. SaaS revenues, however, grew 3% year over year.

Financial Services revenues were up 11% to $872 million. The segment’s net portfolio edged down 1%, while financing volume dipped 7% year over year.

Operating Results

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s gross margin contracted 20 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 28.9%. The year-over-year gross margin contraction was mainly due to competitive pricing, elevated DRAM pricing, unfavorable currency, as well as stranded costs and short-term dilution from the recent acquisitions.

Moreover, the company’s non-GAAP operating margin declined 130 bps to 7.8% mainly due to a lower gross margin which was partially offset by a decline in non-GAAP operating expenses as a percentage of revenues.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Hewlett Packard Enterprise ended the fiscal second quarter with $8.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, significantly down from $9.86 billion recorded at the end of the previous quarter. Long-term debt at the quarter end was $11.904 billion compared with $12.270 billion last quarter.

During the quarter, Hewlett Packard Enterprise generated $636 million of cash flow from operational activities. However, free cash flow was negative $64 million. For the first half of fiscal 2017, the company used $828 million of cash flow for operational activities.

Additionally, during the quarter, the company returned $777 million to its shareholders, of which $670 million was through share repurchases and the remaining through dividend payments. During the first half of fiscal 2017, Hewlett Packard Enterprise returned $1.527 billion to its shareholders, of which $1.311 billion was through share repurchases and the remaining through dividend payments.


The company issued a disappointing bottom-line guidance for third-quarter fiscal 2017. Hewlett Packard Enterprise expects non-GAAP earnings per share in a range of 24–28 cents (mid-point: 26 cents), which is lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 31 cents. On a GAAP basis, the company guides the bottom line to be in a range of a loss of 2 cents to earnings of 2 cents.

For fiscal 2017, the company reiterated the outlook it revised in early April. The company expects non-GAAP earnings per share for fiscal 2017 in the range of $1.46–$1.56 (mid-point $1.51). The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.50. On a GAAP basis, the company projects the bottom line to be in a range of a loss of 3 cents to earnings of 7 cents.

In addition, Hewlett Packard Enterprise anticipates free cash flow in fiscal 2017 to be negative $1.8 billion.

Our Take

Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported dismal fiscal second-quarter results, wherein the bottom line fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also plunged year over year. The company’s revenues also declined significantly on a year-over-year basis. Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s fiscal third-quarter guidance was also disappointing.

The lackluster fiscal second quarter overall performance, along with a dull outlook raises concerns over the company’ future prospects among investors. As a result, shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise fell approximately 2% in yesterday’s after-hour trading session.

Notably, shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise have underperformed the Zacks categorized Computer-Integrated Systems industry in the year-to-date period. The industry has declined 10.1% in the said time frame, while the stock fell 20.9%.

We remain increasingly cautious about its near-term prospects due to the three main challenges which the company is currently facing. The company during its fiscal first-quarter conference call had mentioned three major challenges, heightened pressure from unfavorable currency exchange movements, increased commodities pricing and some near-term execution issues, which are likely to affect its overall performance in the near term.

Also, macroeconomic challenges and tepid IT spending remain near-term concerns. Competition from International Business Machines IBM and Oracle ORCL adds to its woes.

Currently, Hewlett Packard Enterprise carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A better-ranked stock worth considering in the Computer-Integrated Systems industry space is VASCO Data Security International, Inc. VDSI, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

VASCO has witnessed upward estimate revision for the current year and has a long-term expected EPS growth rate of 10%.

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