Coronavirus pandemic spurs brisk sales of HP PCs and printers as the nation works from home: CEO

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

Canned food and Zoom video conference software aren’t the only things experiencing brisk sales in a quarantined United States. Good old fashioned HP notebook computers and wireless printers appear to be flying out the door as the nation works from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In our core business what we are seeing is very strong momentum in those areas related to working from home. We have seen very strong demand for PCs and printers because companies have realized they have to enable their workers to work from home,” HP CEO Enrique Lores said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

Despite disruption this quarter from computer manufacturing sites in China that are only now re-opening, Lores told Yahoo Finance there is no change to the company’s guidance. For the fiscal second quarter, HP is looking for non-GAAP earnings of 49 cents to 53 cents a share. Analysts expect 51 cents a share, per Yahoo Finance data. HP expects full year non-GAAP earnings of $2.33 to $2.43 a share versus analyst forecasts for $2.37.

Lores also said there is no change to the massive $15 billion share repurchase plan — slated to be driven over the next three years — HP unveiled in late February.

HP shares popped 11% by midday trading Thursday.

Enrique Lores speaks at the HP Media Day at the 70th Cannes Film Festival at Majestic Barierre. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images for HP)

The guidance reiteration is impressive considering how Lores has stepped up efforts to support the coronavirus relief efforts at the same time as churning out in-demand computer equipment.

HP said earlier this week it will use its 3D printing capabilities to help make parts for face masks, face shields and ventilators. The move comes as other titans of industry such as Ford, General Motors and Honeywell have pivoted to supply the health care industry with badly needed equipment.

The coronavirus situation isn’t just a business situation for Lores, it’s personal as well. His sister and younger brother are medical doctors on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight in Spain, one of the hardest hit countries from the deadly disease.

Says Lores, “They are safe and sound. I talk to them regularly to understand the situation they are facing. It’s actually a very hard situation. The number of patients going in is very high and they are really dedicating many, many hours to address the situation just like other doctors all over the world.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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