Emerging Technology

HP’s Meg Whitman details ambitious acquisition plan after horror result

Andrew Sadauskas /

Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman has defended the tech giant’s results and outlined ambitious acquisition plans in an interview following the release of the company’s latest quarterly results.

The interview, on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program, came a day after the company revealed its consumer device sales crashed by 22%, led by an 8% drop in desktop PC sales and a 14% plunge in netbook sales.

“We’re two years into a five-year turnaround… overall, I’d say we’re on track. We have a lot of heavy lifting ahead, but I like where we are,” Whitman said.

During the interview, Whitman also revealed the company was considering acquisitions in the $US100 million to $US300 million range, but would consider takeovers worth up to $US1.5 billion.

“I don’t want to do it just to buy growth. I want to do it to further the strategic position in the marketplace for HP,” Whitman says.

As SmartCompany reported yesterday, HP has announced a large 15% drop in net earnings and a 22% drop in revenue from consumer devices during the fiscal third quarter.

The tech giant reported an 8% year-on-year drop in net revenue, from $US29.7 billion to $US27.2 billion, with net earnings slumping from $US2 billion to $US1.7 billion.

The revenue drops were mirrored across most of the company’s other businesses, with a 4% drop in its printing division, 9% fall in enterprise services and a 6% drop for financial services.

The news comes at a difficult time for the PC industry, with recent IDC figures showing HP’s shipments fell by 4.8% from 13.03 million to 12.4 million.

The figures also show the overall PC market slumped to 76 million units worldwide during the second quarter of 2013, 10.9% down from 85.3 million year-on-year.

The horror result for HP comes less than a week after key rival Dell reported a massive 72% drop in quarterly profits.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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