H-P (HPQ) Earnings Drop, Stock Falls

Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE: HPQ) earnings slipped 44% last quarter, offering further proof that personal computers are being phased out by the rise of mobile devices.

H-P reported earnings of 73 cents a share, down from $1.17 a share in the same quarter a year ago. Those profits were shy of the 83-to-86-cent range the company had predicted back in November.

As a result, H-P’s stock has fallen 1% in after-hours trading. H-P shares have now dropped 42% in the last year.

Flooding in Thailand was partly to blame for H-P’s declining revenue, as the floods damaged some of the company’s inventory including the hard disk-drives that are essential to personal computers. A disk-drive shortage hurt H-P’s ability to sell some of its more expensive computers.

But the major catalyst behind H-P’s earnings decline is weakening demand for PCs. Sales in H-P’s core PC business slipped 15% for the quarter. The company’s revenue has now declined in three of the last four quarters.

H-P’s stock was actually up more than 12% in 2012 prior to today’s after-hours losses.

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