HP Inc. Sees Profit That May Fall Before Planned Cost Cuts Getty Images

HP Inc. Sees Profit That May Fall Before Planned Cost Cuts

Chief Executive Officer Dion Weisler is cutting costs while trying to invest in his main products, personal computers and printers, which customers are using less.

HP Inc., which sells printers and computers, said profit in the current quarter may fall, signaling that planned cost cuts will be needed to bolster earnings.

Profit from continuing operations, excluding some items, will be 35 cents to 38 cents a share in the quarter ending in January, HP said Tuesday in a statement. The mid-point would fall short of analysts’ projections of 38 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Dion Weisler is cutting costs while trying to invest in his main products, personal computers and printers, which customers are using less as they opt for smartphones, tablets and other portable devices. HP said last month the company -- which split with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. at the end of 2015 -- plans to cut as many as 4,000 employees over three years. That follows a round of roughly 3,000 reductions unveiled last year.

“We obviously realize that the markets are still uncertain,” Weisler said during a briefing. “This team knows how to execute in both up and down markets.”

HP Inc. shares fell 0.9% in extended trading after closing at $15.95 in New York on Tuesday. The stock had gained 35% this year through the close.

The company reported profit, before certain items, of 36 cents a share in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, matching analysts’ estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

HP projected full-year profit excluding some items of $1.55 to $1.65 a share -- reflecting a forecast the company gave last month. Analysts estimated $1.61.

Sales rose 2% to $12.5 billion in the fourth quarter, topping analysts’ estimates of $11.9 billion. Revenue for personal systems, which includes the computer lines, increased 4.2% to $8.02 billion from a year earlier. Commercial sales rose 3% while the consumer business climbed 7% in the personal systems unit.

Still, printing revenue declined 8.2% to $4.6 billion, compared with a decline of 14% in the previous quarter. Consumer printing sales performed worse than the commercial business.

“We’re taking advantage of the parts of the market that are growing -- for top-line growth -- but also doing it in a very cost-effective way,” Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said in the briefing.

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