The CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise celebrated his one-year anniversary with a ‘beat and raise’ earnings report that’s boosting the stock

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise shares are jumping in after-hours trading after the company handily beat Wall Street expectations on quarterly profit.
  • The good news: Intelligent Edge, a business unit that CEO Antonio Neri has called key to the company’s future prospects, grew 5% from the year-ago period.
  • The better news: It’s raising its guidance on earnings per share for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends in 2019.
  • The less-good news: HPE’s overall revenues were down 2% for the quarter from the same period of 2017, and the unit encompassing its traditional data center hardware businesses shrunk 3% over the same period.

Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise are up as high as 3% in after-hours trading after announcing quarterly profits that blew away Wall Street’s modest expectations, and raising its guidance for the fiscal year.

Here are the key figures reported by HPE on Thursday for its December quarter:

  • Revenue of $US7.55 billion, just about in line with Wall Street expectations, and down 2% from Q4 2017.
  • Earnings per share (non-GAAP) of $US0.42, ahead of Wall Street’s expectation of $US0.35 – which would have been flat from the year-ago period.
  • HPE raised its EPS outlook for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends in September, from $US0.73 to $US0.83 on a GAAP basis, to $US0.88 to $US0.98. On an adjusted basis, HPE said it now expects EPS of $US1.56 to $US1.66, compared to its previous estimate of $US1.51 to $US1.61.
  • HPE also reiterated its FY19 free cash flow guidance of $US1.4 billion to $US1.6 billion.

Notably, HPE took a huge hit to its EPS on a GAAP basis for the quarter, reporting $US0.13 per share – down 86% from the prior-year period. However, HPE says that this is related to changes in tax law that were passed in 2017.

Earlier in February, HPE CEO Antonio Neri told Business Insider that he was staking the future of the 80-year-old company on so-called edge computing, which refers to the notion of putting more data processing power on smart devices, rather than the cloud. So it’s good news for HPE, too, that it posted revenues in its Intelligent Edge business unit of $US686 million, up 5% from the same period of 2017.

However, things are less rosy for the company’s flagship Hybrid IT unit, which encompasses HPE’s bread-and-butter server and storage data center hardware businesses, as well as its push into the so-called hybrid cloud. That unit posted $US6 billion in revenue, down 3% from the year-ago period.

“Looking forward, we are confident that HPE’s differentiated, software-defined solutions will continue to gain traction with customers looking to harness the explosion of data, driving accelerated revenue growth starting in Q2,” Neri said in a statement.