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Analyst: HP results spark hope for chipmakers

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HP Q2 results? software? PC sales? semiconductor?

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s net profit fell considerably in Q3, but a financial analyst said the resultsincluding a 2 percent y-on-y increase in PC sales and possibly record inventory lowsbode well for semiconductor suppliers.

HP saw its GAAP net profit for the quarter ended July 31 fall 19 percent as a record $1.3 billion profit from services and double-digit sales growth in China were not enough to offset revenue declines in PC, software and servers, the company said.

"The PC supply chain has reached the leanest levels of inventory ever, in our opinion," wrote FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger in a research note. Any seasonal uptick in demand should lead to a healthy chip pull through in the third and fourth quarters of calendar 2009, Berger wrote.

Companies such as Marvell, International Rectifier, LSI Corp., Fairchild Semiconductor and ON

Semiconductor should benefit from improving PC demand in Q3 and grow that portion in the high-single-to-low double digits sequentially, Berger added.

PC hardware and storage days of inventory (excluding Dell) fell by one day in Q2 and are now slightly below all-time trough levels set in Q3 04 and the Q3 07, according to Berger.

The analyst also said that analog chip stocks should benefit from stronger-than-expected quarterly results reported by Analog Devices Inc.

HP said its quarterly net revenue fell to $27.5 billion, down 2 percent from the year-ago period. Revenue was up 4 percent when adjusted for the effects of currency fluctuations.

The PC maker posted net earnings of $1.6 billion, or 67 cents per share, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), down from $2 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter, the company said.

Non-GAAP operating profit was $3 billion, or 91 cents per share, up from 86 cents per share in the prior-year period, HP said. Non-GAAP financial information excludes $568 million of adjustments on an after-tax basis, or $0.24 per diluted share, related primarily to amortization of purchased intangible assets, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges, HP said.

Recovery on the way
"Business is stabilizing, and we are confident that HP will be an early beneficiary of an economic turnaround and will continue to outperform when conditions improve," said Mark Hurd, HP chairman and CEO, in a statement.

Revenue grew 8 percent year-to-year in the Americas to $12.6 billion, HP said. Revenue in China grew by double-digit percentage, HP said, but declined in other regions of the world. Revenue from outside of the United States accounted for 62 percent of total revenue, HP said.

Services revenue increased 93 percent to $8.5 billion due primarily to last year's acquisition of Electronic Data Systems Inc. (EDS), HP said. Services operating profit was $1.3 billion, or 15.2 percent of revenue, up from $567 million, or 12.9 percent of revenue, in the prior-year period, HP said. The EDS integration is tracking ahead of plan, the company said.

HP's enterprise storage and servers business reported total revenue of $3.7 billion, down 23 percent year-to-year, the company said. Software revenue declined 22 percent to $847 million, while revenue from its personal systems group fell 18 percent to $8.4 billion. Imaging and printing group revenue declined 20 percent to $5.7 billion.

HP remains the No. 1 supplier of PCs worldwide. The company projected revenue for the current quarter to be about $29.7 billion, which would be an increase of 8 percent sequentially.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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