Business appliance maker HP reported financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31, 2003. Fourth-quarter revenue was U.S. $19.9 billion, an increase of 10 percent year-over-year and 14 percent over the third fiscal quarter. This compares to analyst consensus estimates of $19.0 billion for the quarter.
"This was a great quarter. By any measure, we hit our stride and demonstrated what the merger was all about. I'm proud of the entire HP team," said Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and CEO. "HP's excellent fourth quarter performance capped a fiscal year in which we delivered on our commitments. We achieved profitability in each of our businesses. We grew revenue and market share. We exceeded our integration and cost saving goals ahead of schedule, and we generated cash flow from operations in excess of $6 billion for the year," she said.
"We did all of this while strengthening our direct sales, service, and support capabilities and investing more than $1 billion in software, $600 million in the HP brand, $400 million in our IT systems, and $275 million in training and developing our people," she added.
Ms. Fiorina also said that as promised, HP returned the Enterprise Systems business to profitability in the fourth quarter by delivering a $106 million operating profit. "This represents a $610 million turnaround in profitability in this business on a full-year combined company basis. Strong revenues were accompanied by year-over-year gross margin improvement, record revenues in software, record shipments of industry-standard servers and high-end Superdome systems, and a strong performance in the fastest growing segment of the storage market," she said.
Ms. Fiorina also reported that revenue in Personal Systems was $6 billion, up 19 percent year over year and 21 percent sequentially, fueled by 53-percent unit growth in notebooks and 23-percent unit growth in desktops. "We saw strong revenue growth in all regions and operating profit improved by almost $400 million on a full-year combined company basis. We also gained significant share across the PC market and again outgrew our nearest competitor in notebooks, further solidifying our lead in this strategic category," she said.
Quarterly operating profit for HP's Imaging and Printing segment surpassed U.S. $1 billion for the first time, the company reported. "We set new records for shipments of digital cameras, inkjet printers, laser printers, and supplies. In fiscal 2003, we shipped a record 43 million printers, with almost 13 million in the fourth quarter alone," Ms. Fiorina noted.
HP said it closed fiscal 2003 with $14.7 billion in gross cash after funding more than $2.6 billion in restructuring charges, retirement funding, and retention payments, as well as $750 million in stock repurchases and a dividend payout of $977 million -- the highest yield in the industry.
During the quarter, revenue in the Americas grew 6 percent year-over-year and 14 percent over the third quarter to $9.2 billion, and represented 46 percent of total revenue. Europe grew 14 percent year-over-year and 16 percent over the third quarter to $7.6 billion, and represented 39 percent of total revenue. Asia-Pacific grew 16 percent year-over-year and 10 percent over the third quarter to $2.2 billion, and represented 11 percent of total revenue. Japan grew 5 percent year-over-year and 12 percent over the third quarter to $835 million, and represented 4 percent of total revenue.
HP estimates revenues will range from $19.1 billion to $19.5 billion in its first fiscal quarter of 2004, as compared to current consensus of $19 billion, reflecting 2 percent to 4 percent seasonal revenue decline.
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