Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ten Years After - HPQ Printing and Imaging Results

I know I've pulled the "Ten Years After" classic-rock reference out in the past, but this time it really fits! On the continuing theme of my previous post, "While I Was Away", I am late getting up a link to my quarterly results spreadsheet for HP's Printing unit. Once again it was a solid if unspectacular quarter, assuming "solid" means low-single-digit year-to-year percentage declines across the board. For those counting, it's now been 15 quarters since the former IPG has posted a non-negative percentage "growth" number for total revenues.

Now, to the Ten Years After part! While researching another blog post (coming to a screen near you very soon!) I discovered a reference in the August, 2005 edition of The Hard Copy Observer. Since we are coming up on 2015, this makes it essentially ten years ago, when the front-page article quoted former IPG chief Vyomesh Joshi as follows, "...Joshi said he expects HP to double its printer business over the next 10 years from $24 billion in annual revenue currently to $50 billion— quite a tall order for a company that saw a 6 percent dip in revenue growth for the quarter that ended in April compared with the same quarter in 2004."

While technically the forecast has another year to be measured, interpreted quite liberally, HP closed out FY2014 with revenues just a shade under $23 Billion, at $22.979 Billion to be precise. Note that this figure comes short not only of the ten-years-out projection of $50 Billion, but also the baseline FY2004 revenue of $24 Billion. The profit picture, in fairness, is quite a bit better (the article refers to profit margins in the 14%-16% range back then, with margins over the last 12 quarters ranging between 16% to nearly 20%), meaning HP is bringing in more profit dollars than ten years ago, even with revenues slightly less than back then.

This is not so much about our industry leader HP, but more a reflection on ten years of time in a tough environment for a industry facing numerous challenges.

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