Information technology firm HP, Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) has been busy doing the groundwork to maximize the benefits of the planned merger with hardware maker Xerox Corporation (XRX). Days after adopting a shareholder rights plan in view of the merger, HP on Monday reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its first quarter, triggering a stock rally.
First-quarter revenues decreased 1% year-over-year to $14.62 billion, in line with analysts’ forecast. Revenues of Personal Systems moved up 2% during the quarter, with an uptick in Commercial revenue more than offsetting a decline in Consumer revenue. Meanwhile, the Printing segment registered a 7% decline.
Earnings up 25%
Adjusted earnings rose to $0.65 per share from $0.52 per share last year, surpassing analysts’ estimates and the management’s own projection. Net income, on an unadjusted basis, was $678 million or $0.46 per share, compared to $803 million or $0.51 per share in the first quarter of 2019.
“This is a team at the top of its game, combining the industry’s best innovation with disciplined execution and cost management to deliver for our shareholders. We have great confidence in our plans and are raising our full-year earnings outlook,” said CEO Enrique Lores.
Encouraged by the strong bottom-line performance, the management revised up its full-year 2020 earnings guidance to the range of $2.03 per share to $2.13 per share and revised up the forecast for adjusted earnings to the range of $2.33 to $2.43.
For the second quarter, the company currently expects unadjusted earnings to be in the range of $0.46 per share to $0.50 per share and adjusted earnings to be between $0.49 per share and $0.53 per share.
The company repurchased around 33.8 million shares during the quarter for about $0.7 billion and paid about $0.3 billion in dividends.
After recovering from the recent lows, HP shares gained about 7% since the beginning of the year. The stock closed Monday’s regular session lower but gained sharply during the after-hours, following the announcement.
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