PC sales recovered from a seven year slump during the last quarter of 2019 but now remote working and distance learning have led to a huge surge in PC demand with both HP and Dell beating Wall Street estimates.
HP recently reported better-than-expected third quarter financial results fueled by strong notebook sales during the pandemic. In fact, the total number of notebooks shipped during the quarter grew by 32 percent year-over-year with more than half of the company’s revenue for the quarter coming from notebooks.
HP’s non-GAAP earnings per share came to 49 cents on revenue of $14.3bn which was down by 2.1 percent from the same period last year. However, analysts expected earnings of 43 cents per share on revenue of $13.3bn.
In a statement, HP’s CEO Enrique Lores provided further insight on the company’s strong Q3 results, saying:
“Our strong Q3 results and solid beat for the quarter, in the face of unprecedented uncertainty, reflects the agility of our teams and the strength of our portfolio. We’re leveraging our leadership across consumer and commercial markets to capitalize on opportunities – from the essential role of the PC in an era of remote work and school to the rise of subscription-based business models to enable greater flexibility. Our diverse portfolio and disciplined execution are powering our performance and we’re well positioned to drive continued value creation.”
Surge in PC demand
Dell Technologies was also able to beat expectations for its Q2 results and the company reported second quarter net income of $1.1bn ($1.37 per share) on revenue of $22.7bn. Wall Street had expected the company to report fiscal second quarter revenue of $22.52bn and non-GAAP earnings of $1.40 a share.
Chief operating officer at Dell Technologies, Jeff Clarke attributed the company’s Q2 earnings to increased demand in the government and education sectors, saying:
“In Q2, we saw strength in the government sector and in education, with orders up 16 and 24 percent, respectively, as parents, teachers and school districts prepare for a new frontier in virtual learning.”
During Q2, Dell’s notebooks, consumer PCs and gaming systems all saw double-digit revenue growth as consumer revenue grew by 18 percent while commercial revenue fell by 11 percent.
Now that employees are better equipped to work from home and students are prepared for distance learning, the question is whether PC hardware makers will see similar growth next quarter or if consumers and businesses will hold off on upgrading their devices now that many have already done so during the early days of the pandemic.