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HP Ink says ink sales are down but PC sales are up, up, up!

No, you're not reading that wrong: PCs are selling better than since the XP upgrade rush

HP Inc has reported its first quarter results with a highlight being increased sales and revenue for PCs, but a dip for printer-related activities.

The company offered the following graphical depiction of its quarter in its earnings presentation, and it explains the state of affairs better than we could do with prose.

HP Inc revenue and growth Q1 2017

Hp Ink's Q1. Click here to embiggen

Readers who resent high ink and toner charges may rejoice in learning that it's become a sick part of HP Inc's business, down 2 per cent year over year in constant currency*, although that fall was smaller than predicted. CEO Weisler said he hopes the supplies business will stabilise by year's end. The rest of us probably hope it doesn't!

Weisler also praised the “personal systems” division for creating cracking product that saw revenue grow 10 per cent year over year with increased profits. “The last time we saw this level of revenue growth was in 2014, triggered by the [Windows] XP refresh cycle,” Weisler said. PC shipments also rose, although all the growth was in notebooks as desktop sales remained flat.

Lenovo last week reported very similar PC sales results. With the two leading PC vendors reporting sales, might the five-year PC sales slump be near an end? Or are the titans squeezing the smaller players?

The quarter also saw HP Inc. record its first revenue for 3D printers, but not enough to get its own line item. Weisler did, however, say “we are tracking to our strategy to disrupt the $12 trillion traditional manufacturing market.”

Net revenue hit US$12.7 billion, up four per cent from the prior-year period, while net earnings were $611m. The company beat earnings expectations and enjoyed a minor bump to its share price as a resut.

Not all is rosy. Weisler flagged PC component price rises as a “headwind” the company thinks it has escaped. The company must also soon digest its acquisition of Samsung's printer operation, then consolidate its product portfolio. ®

*Bootnote: Your correspondent owns an HP colour laser printer that, more than a year ago, declared itself out of colour toner. I found all-but-hidden menu options that shut up the printer's hurry-up-and-buy-more-toner messages. Since doing so, the printer continues to work just fine, emitting prints of a quality that satisfy the kids when they do school projects and handily handling domestic correspondence. I may not be the only one deferring that AU$400 toner top-up!

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