Edited Transcript of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call…
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) hosted a conference call with investors and analysts to discuss Q4 2014 earnings results on November 25, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The following are the webcast audio and the associated transcript of the event…
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) Q4 2014 Results Earnings Call – Webcast Audio
Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2014 Hewlett-Packard Earnings Conference Call. My name is Ellen, and I’ll be your conference moderator for today’s call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will be facilitating a question-and-answer session towards the end of the conference. (Operator Instructions)As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.
I would now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today’s call, Mr. Jim Bergkamp, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please proceed.
Jim Bergkamp – VP, IR
Good afternoon. Welcome to our fourth quarter 2014 earnings conference call, with Meg Whitman, HP’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Cathie Lesjak, HP’s Chief Financial Officer.
Before handing the call over to Meg, let me remind you that this call is being webcast. A replay of the webcast will be made available shortly after the call for approximately one year.
Some information provided during this call may include forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the execution of restructuring plans and any resulting cost savings, or revenue or profitability improvements, any projections of revenue, margins, expenses, earnings, earnings per share, HP’s effective tax rate, cash flow, share repurchases, currency exchange rates or other financial items, any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations, including its separation transaction and any statements concerning the expected development, performance, market share, or competitive performance related to products or services. A discussion of some of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions is set forth in more detail in HP’s SEC reports, including its most recent Form 10-Q. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update any such forward-looking statements.
The financial information discussed in connection with this call, including any tax-related items reflect estimates based on information available at this time and could differ materially from the amounts ultimately reported in HP’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014. Revenue, operating profit, operating margin, net earnings, diluted net earnings per share, income tax rate, cash and cash equivalents, operating cash flows, total company debt, capital expenditures and similar items at the company level are sometimes expressed on a non-GAAP basis and have been adjusted to exclude certain items, including amongst other things, amortization of intangible assets, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges.
The comparable GAAP financial information and a reconciliation of non-GAAP amounts to GAAP are included in the tables and in the slide presentation accompanying today’s earnings release, both of which are available at the HP Investor Relations webpage at www.hp.com.
I’ll now turn the call over to Meg.
Meg Whitman – President and CEO
Thank you, Jim, and thanks to all of you for joining us today.
As we exit the third year of our five-year turnaround effort, I have to say that fiscal 2014 overall was a very strong year. Our performance came in right where it should be and we’ve delivered on our promises. We’ve reignited innovation across HP, strengthened our leadership, delivered cash flow above expectations, fortified our balance sheet and grown our non-GAAP earnings per share. And we finally stabilized our revenue trajectory, delivering flat topline revenue for the company on a constant currency basis for the full year.
We have also made significant operational improvements across each of our businesses that are paying off in our improved profitability, customer and partner engagement, and employee experience. In fact, we saw year-over-year operating margin expansion in every one of our businesses in the fourth quarter for the first time in many years.
In addition, we once again delivered very strong cash flow in the quarter, generating $2.7 billion in cash flow from operations and free cash flow of $1.9 billion. For the full year, we delivered $9.3 billion in free cash flow, while returning $3.9 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. As a result, our balance sheet now stands at an operating company net cash position of $5.9 billion, a significant improvement from the $11.8 billion of operating company net debt in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
And we once again achieved earnings per share at the high-end of our previously provided outlook, delivering non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.06 for fiscal Q4, up 5% over the prior year and $3.74 of non-GAAP earnings per share for the full year, also up 5%.
We were able to deliver this performance while continuing to invest in the critical innovation that will be the foundation of HP’s future. In fiscal 2014, we increased research and development spending by 10% over the prior year, as we increased investment in every segment, including cloud, infrastructure, 3D Printing and of course, the machine.
Fiscal 2014 was a year of significant innovation for HP. We announced exciting new products and services across our businesses and as we enter 2015, we have the strongest portfolio we’ve had in a decade.
Earlier this year, we announced HP Helion, a portfolio of cloud products and services that enable organizations to build, manage and consume workloads in hybrid IT environment. In the fourth quarter, we continued our momentum in HP Helion, with the acquisition of Eucalyptus, a provider of open source software for building private and hybrid enterprise clouds. Eucalyptus CEO, Mårten Mickos joined HP as a Senior Vice President and General Manager of our Cloud business.
We also announced HP OpenNFV, a network function virtualization technology initiative that will help communications service providers accelerate innovation and launch their services faster, more easily and with less expense.
NFV represents one of the most significant shifts in the telecom industry in 20 years and HP is very well-positioned to capitalize on this shift. With open and agile architectures, such as our software defined networking and Helion cloud technologies, we are leading the move away from monolithic purpose-built products.
In May, we announced the latest release of our HP Vertica Big Data Analytics platform, a key component of HAVEn. It allows customers to store and explore data with the most sophisticated SQL on Hadoop capabilities, combined with advanced analytics and dynamic workload management.
In June, we introduced the HP Apollo Family of high-performance computing systems, capable of delivering up to four times the performance of standard rack servers while using less space and energy. This includes the Apollo 8000, an industry first liquid-cooled supercomputer that combined high-level of processing power with ultra-low energy usage.
We also extended our Converged Storage portfolio with a solid-state optimized all-flash HP 3PAR StoreServ system. It delivers performance and low latency without compromising enterprise resiliency or adding data center complexity.
In August, we announced our new portfolio of HP ProLiant Gen9 Servers. These servers are optimized for convergence, cloud and software-defined environments, and deliver flexible, scalable computing resources that are aligned to customers’ business goals.
In September, we expanded our commercial PC portfolio with the launch of HP Z Desktop and ZBook mobile workstations. These powerful devices are built to address the constraints of compute intensive industries, like media and entertainment, graphic design, and oil and gas exploration.
And just last month, we announced our vision for the future of 3D Printing and computing with our blended reality ecosystem. The first product available in this ecosystem Sprout by HP is a first of its kind immersive computing platform that combines the power of an advanced desktop computer with the scanner, depth sensor, high resolution camera and projector into one seamless device. It is early days for this breakthrough technology and it will take time to build the ecosystem. But interest has been very strong among developers, partners and customers.