‘PCs have become essential,’ HP CEO says after posting record sales

HP Inc. moved an unprecedented amount of computers as people adjusted their lives to the remote culture that was accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Enrique Lores told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Thursday.

“We have never shipped so many PCs and it was really driven by the demand we see for people working from home and learning from home,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview after the company posted strong results in the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year.

HP shares were up 2% in post-market trading after the computer hardware manufacturer reported better-than-expected numbers, including a nearly $1 billion beat on the revenue line.

The company printed 49 cents of earnings per share on almost $14.3 billion in revenue, topping Factset estimates of $13.3 billion. Those numbers, however, were down 15.5% and 2% from the same three-month period a year ago.

Personal systems sales were up 7% year over year (9% on a constant currency basis) in the quarter ended July 31 and notebook sales were up 32%, the company said in a press release. HP’s consumer sales offset weakness on the commercial side.

“PCs have become essential. In the past, we were talking about one PC per home. Now we see the need to have one PC per person,” Lores said. “This is going to be driving demand [and] it’s going to be staying with us for a while.”

HP, which makes computing products including laptops, printers and other related technologies and services, saw similar output in the printing segment as it did in computers. Consumer demand increased for printers as business orders declined as many offices remained closed.

Net revenue for printing fell 20% from a year ago, while consumer hardware sales rose 3%, the press release said.

“The demand for consumer printers and consumer supplies has been even stronger than what it was before Covid,” Lores said. “On the commercial side, we have seen improvements throughout the quarter as the impact of the pandemic in many countries got smaller.”

Shares of HP rose 2% during Thursday’s session, closing at $18.70. Year to date, the stock is down more than 7%.

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