Despite dark clouds of corporate trouble ahead, Hewlett-Packard
With a sales report of $91.7 billion for fiscal year 2005, HP just passed IBM
Dell did have another race to lose, that of the global king in computer systems sold. And according to multiple market tracking services, HP just stole that pennant, too, mostly thanks to a strong quarter in notebook sales. Now, personal computers form the basis of an extremely competitive, cutthroat market, and analysts are rightfully impressed by the 4% operating margins HP pulled off in this quarter. But when you make up for those slim margins in massive volume, it's all good. While other system builders like Dell and Gateway
CEO Mark Hurd said that he was pleased with the quarter and year while still seeing plenty of room for improvement. Going forward, HP will strive to balance growth opportunities against bottom-line profitability by "leveraging our strengths in notebooks, in consumer, in the commercial and retail channels and in international markets." Sounds to me like the captain knows where to take this ocean liner, and judging by his boatmanship so far, I wouldn't mind coming along for the ride.
For further Foolishness:
- Foolish Forecast: Hewlett-Packard, Ho!
- Hewlett-Packard's Pleasant Year: Fool by Numbers
- Another Reason to Not Buy Dell
- Hewlett-Packard Detects a New Market
- Hypocrisy at Hewlett-Packard
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, but he did buy an HP notebook in the quarter just described. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is always ahead of the pack.