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HP's (HPQ) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates on Record PC Sales

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Zacks Equity Research
·5 min read
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HP Inc. HPQ reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results on solid PC demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic-led remote-working and online-learning wave. However, weakness in commercial printer sales partially offset the benefits, resulting in a year-over-year revenue decline.

HP delivered fiscal fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings from continuing operations of 62 cents per share, up from the year-ago quarter’s 60 cents. Moreover, quarterly earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 52 cents per share as well as management’s guided range of 50-54 cents.

HP’s net revenues of $15.3 billion beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14.6 billion but declined 1% year on year. In constant currency (cc), revenues inched up 0.1%.

Quarter in Detail

Personal Systems revenues (68% of net revenues) were $10.4 billion, flat year over year (up 1% in cc). Further, consumer revenues grew 24%, while commercial sales declined 12%. The company reported shipping a record 19 million units during the fiscal fourth quarter.

HP Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

HP Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
HP Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

HP Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | HP Inc. Quote

HP’s total units sold climbed 7% from the year-ago quarter. Notebooks registered a 25% jump, while desktop units dropped 31%, year on year. While notebook revenues increased 18% year over year, desktop and workstation sales were down 28% and 45%, respectively.

Printing business revenues (32% of net revenues) were down 3% year over year (down 2% in CC) to $4.8 billion. HP’s total hardware units sold were up 14%. Commercial Hardware units and revenues slid 10% and 22%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. Further, Consumer Hardware units and revenues grew 18% and 21%, respectively. Supplies revenues edged down 1%.

Region wise, at cc, revenues from Americas (46% of net revenues) increased 4%. Meanwhile, revenues from Asia-Pacific (21%), and the Middle East and Africa (33%) decreased 6% and 1%, respectively.

Operating Results

Segment wise, Personal Systems operating margin contracted 20 basis points (bps) to 5.1%. Moreover, printing operating margin shrunk 80 bps to 14.8% on lower revenues.

Meanwhile, the company’s overall non-GAAP operating margin from continuing operations of 8% contracted 50 bps, year on year.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

HP ended the fiscal fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $4.86 billion compared with the $4.68 billion recorded in the prior quarter.

During the reported quarter, the company generated operating cash flows of $1.9 billion and $1.8 billion in free cash flow. During fiscal 2020, the company generated operating and free cash flows of $4.3 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively.

During the fiscal third quarter, the company raised $3 billion through issuing senior unsecured notes and redeemed $1.6 billion of old notes maturing in 2020 and 2021.

HP returned $1.6 billion to its shareholders in the form of stock repurchases ($1.34billion) and cash dividends ($238 million) during the fiscal fourth quarter. In fiscal 2020, the company returned $4.1 billion to its shareholders, including $3.11 billion in stock repurchases and $997 million in dividend. During the fourth quarter and fiscal 2020, HP returned 88% and 105% of respective free cash flows.

Additionally, HP announced that its board of directors raised the quarterly cash dividend by 10% to $0.1938 per share. The newly approved dividend will be payable on Jan 6, 2021.

Guidance

For first-quarter fiscal 2021, HP estimates non-GAAP earnings between 64 cents and 70 cents.

HP anticipates solid demand for personal systems during the fiscal first quarter on the rising working-and-learning-from-home wave. Nevertheless, the company expects that the industry-wide CPU panel and semiconductor supply constraints might dampen its ability to meet demand.

For the printing segment, HP projects solid demand for home printers, and pricing to be strained due to competition.

During the fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings conference call, HP noted it expects to return approximately $1 billion per quarter at minimum to shareholders in the near term.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

HP currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Arrow Electronics ARW, Texas Instruments TXN and STMicroelectronics N.V. STM. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The long-term earnings growth rate for Arrow, Texas and STMicroelectronics is currently pegged at 8.5%, 9.3%, and 5%, respectively.

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