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HP Plants Acorns for Future Growth in 2014

HP CEO Meg Whitman reports on her firm's financial results in 2013 and plots a path forward for the new year that will include 3D Printing.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) reported its fourth quarter fiscal 2013 earnings late Tuesday, showing the results of CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround efforts. Whitman also hinted at a major new area of growth for HP as it could soon enter the emerging market for 3D printing.

For the quarter, HP reported revenue of $29.1 billion, down three percent year-over-year. For HP's full fiscal 2013, revenue was $112.3 billion, down 7 percent year-over-year.

"With the final quarter of our fix and rebuild year now behind us, I am pleased with our progress in fiscal 2013," Whitman said during her company's earnings call. "As we said, when we laid out our five-year plan, we expected that our turnaround would not be linear and we saw that during the year."

One area where HP is improving is within its Enterprise Group, which reported $7.6 billion in revenue, representing year-over-year growth of two percent in the fourth quarter. Whitman said that the fourth quarter Enterprise Group growth is that first time that business unit has grown revenue in eight quarters.

"We saw improved sales execution, a strong Hyperscale quarter and stabilization in blades, complemented by revenue growth in networking and storage," Whitman said.

Within the Enterprise Group, HP reported that its industry standard server revenues grew 10 percent year-over-year to $3.5 billion. Storage revenue grew by one percent year-over-year to $952 million. HP Networking revenues grew three percent year-over-year in the quarter to $656 million.

One area of HP's business that continues to decline is its Business Critical Systems (BCS) business unit, which includes the company's UNIX systems. BCS revenue declined 17 percent year-over-year to $334 million.

3D Printing

During the earnings call, Whitman was asked about whether HP would enter the nascent market for 3D Printing. She responded that it's a market that HP intends to enter.

"It’s obviously different than paper printing but some of the technology is the same," Whitman said

Whitman said that she anticipates being able to enter the 3D printing market organically as HP focuses on the value proposition of the consumer and industrial market segments. She added that 3D printing today is an 'acorn' that is being planted at HP.

"You’ve heard me say we get to plant acorns than they will eventually become oak trees but you should think in 2014 and 2015," Whitman said. "This is an acorn that maybe has very good long potential but the market is at its earlier stages and there is a lot of technology work that needs to be done to be able to print in the kind of timeframe that most consumers and most industries would actually find acceptable."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist




Tags: earnings, HP, 3d printing, enterprise technology


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