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The worst may be over in terms of slumping PC sales that have made headlines throughout the past year. HP, the second largest PC supplier in the world, reported a 4 percent jump in PC sales compared to last year en route to posting a $28.2 billion quarter for its fiscal period ended January 31, 2014. That's actually a 1 percent decline in net revenue compared to the same quarter a year ago, but still higher than Wall Street was expecting.
HP's growth in PC sales is mostly due to commercial customers. Commercial revenue in the PC sector increased 8 percent, enough to offset a 3 percent decline in consumer PC sales. Total unit shipments grew 6 percent with desktops declining 3 percent and laptops increasing 5 percent.
"HP is in a stronger position today than we've been in quite some time," said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. "The progress we're making is reflected in growth across several parts of our portfolio, the growing strength of our balance sheet, and the strong support we're receiving from customers and channel partners. Innovation is igniting our comeback, and at a time when many of our competitors are confronting new challenges, two years of turnaround work is setting us up for an exciting future."
HP said it generated $3 billion in cash flow from operations in the first quarter, up 17 percent from the same period a year prior. That represents the eighth consecutive quarterly improvement of over $1 billion. Furthermore, HP returned $843 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in the first quarter.