After shares climbed 52% last year, the stock is now down 3.6% year-to-date after its first-quarter earnings report delivered revenues that were down 10.4% year-over-year.
According to CEO Meg Whitman, the weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and reduced full-year 2017 guidance came as a result of currency exchange rates and higher commodity prices that exacerbated soft demand and execution issues from its revamped Enterprise Group business.
We see these issues spawning as a result of the company's two major divestitures last year. First, the more than $8 billion sale of Hewlett's enterprise services unit to Computer Sciences (CSC) and second the $6.3 billion sale of software operations to Micro Focus (MCFUF) .
Unfortunately, the current landscape is strewn with impediments like currency fluctuations and a harsher commodity pricing environment that is largely out of the company's control.
However, it's important for Hewlett Packard's management to proactively assess the situation and update full-year guidance as soon as possible.
Currently, the company has reduced its full-year earnings per share (EPS) estimates by 12 cents. Analysts are expecting mere 3.1% earnings growth for 2017.
In the company's favor are improving margins and a leaner and more efficient business model that should allow the company to drive revenue once management irons out kinks in the Enterprise Group business.
It's important for HPE to stay on course and fortify its position as a hybrid IT-solutions leader. Since splitting with the more consumer-focused HP (HPQ) - Get Report , the company has undergone significant changes in order to gather momentum.
In fact, the competition will only get tougher. Cloud platforms Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report Web Services and Microsoft's (MSFT) - Get Report Azure are going to be ones to beat, and Hewlett Packard cannot afford to spend much more time not executing on its leaner business model.
The company could also utilize its nearly $10-billion cash pile for strategic M&A movements to bolster any deficiencies and drive revenue growth.
The road ahead isn't really that murky for Hewlett Packard. The company's continuing business renovation will harvest long-term benefits and eventually an agile and efficient enterprise will emerge to capture share of the cloud services market.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.