Two of the world’s biggest PC makers, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, both posted record fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, helping to boost investors’ optimism that the PC market is on the rebound.

HP and Dell are set to report their Q3 financial results, and investors are hoping for some good news. The two PC makers have been doing well recently, and their share prices have jumped as a result.

Dell said Thursday that revenue in the first quarter rose 12 percent from a year earlier to $24.5 billion, led by a 42 percent increase in sales of its Customer Solutions Group consumer products, which include desktops and notebooks. This strong start to the year came after Dell announced record sales for the full year in February.

According to industry data, PC sales last year experienced the strongest growth in a decade, indicating a shift toward mobile devices due to the coronavirus pandemic. Total PC sales rose 13% in 2020 and are expected to rise 18% in 2021, despite a shortage of semiconductors, according to International Data Corp.

We continue to see very strong demand from home users, and demand from commercial businesses is also starting to increase as offices reopen, the HP CEO said.

Enrique Lores.

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HP expects PCs to continue to be a popular product next year, it said Thursday, as the company reported revenue growth of about 27 percent in the second quarter and raised its full-year profit forecast. Consumer sales grew strongly, with a 72 percent increase in the computer segment and a 77 percent increase in the print segment, the company said.

According to Lores, the global semiconductor shortage is expected to continue throughout the year, which will help extend the boom in laptop sales into 2022, a view Dell shares.

The strength of the question is confirmed by others.

Intel Corp.


Pat Gelsinger,

which previously held a majority stake in Dell

VMware Inc,

highlighted the PC’s renaissance during the chipmaker’s first quarter in April. The company shipped a record number of notebook processors in the previous quarter, he added.

And as the world becomes increasingly digital, I think we have 10 more good years ahead of us for semiconductors, he said at an industry event this month.

On Thursday, Dell’s chief operating officer

Jeff Clark

highlighted the company’s results, including record sales.

Digital transformation has accelerated significantly worldwide, which is also reflected in our results: Record revenue of $24.5 billion in the first quarter, he said in a written statement, adding: As we look to the future, we see technology becoming increasingly central to the global economy and society.

Clark noted that the overall PC market has grown during the pandemic and is expected to continue to grow, helped in part by the shift to hybrid use and more devices in each household. He predicts the replacement market will reach $750 billion by the middle of the decade, up from $600 billion before the pandemic.

The active purchase of laptops, which are generally cheaper but less powerful, is also contributing to the more frequent replacement of laptops, he added.

Dell said demand for its commercial desktops is rising, a segment that declined in the age of telecommuting, when customers preferred laptops.

Analysts say desktop sales could benefit from a supply shortage that could delay the availability of other devices. We expect at least some customers to choose desktops over laptops, as the relevance of demand for each type of PC remains quite high, said Jitesh Ubrani, research director at IDC.

HP and Dell, the second and third largest PC vendors, shipped about 19 million and 13 million units, respectively, in the first three months of 2021, up 64% and 23% year-over-year, according to IDC.

Dell’s first-quarter profit increased sixfold to more than $880 million. Dell plans to divest its stake in VMware by the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, VMware’s first-quarter profit rose 10 percent to $425 million and revenue rose 9.5 percent to $2.99 billion.

HP’s second-quarter profit rose 61 percent to $1.23 billion and revenue rose to $15.88 billion from $12.47 billion a year earlier. The company now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share of between $3.40 and $3.50, 25 cents higher than its previous forecast.

How the global shortage of chips affects you

Write to Maria Armenthal at [email protected]

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