Biz Break: HP gets a boost as PCs show gains

Top Of The Order:  

No. 2, With A Bullet: Is it possible that HP could once again rule the PC world?

It’s been a while since HP topped the major tech industry analysis charts for selling the most PCs. And, let’s be frank, PCs don’t carry the cool factor that they used to. But, there are still a lot of PCs being sold every quarter, and those sales matter to the bottom lines of the likes of HP, Lenovo, Dell and even Apple.

On Tuesday, HP saw its shares rise by 4.3 percent to close at $13.72, and the main reason for the gain was how well HP’s PC sales did during the second quarter of this year. According to tech research firm Gartner, HP held on to its second-place position worldwide with 12.3 million shipments, which still fell short of first-place Lenovo and its 13.2 million PCs shipped.

However, HP did something that Lenovo failed to do, and that was gain market share. Gartner said HP’s PC shipments rose almost 2 percent from a year ago, to give the company 19.1 percent of the worldwide PC market. Lenovo’s shipments fell by 2.2 percent giving it 20.5 percent market share. During the year-ago period. Lenovo held 19.9 percent of the worldwide PC market, and HP had 17.8 percent.

Overall, total worldwide shipments fell 5.2 percent from a year ago, to 64.3 million. It was the seventh-straight quarterly decline in year-over-year PC sales, but Gartner said there are signs the industry is improving.

And one of those signs came from North America, where annual PC shipments managed to rise 1.4 percent from a year ago, to 15.2 million units. After five straight quarters of declining shipments, that modest increase may give HP and others some hope for even better business the rest of the year.

“The second and third quarters are typically (the) PC buying season for the U.S. public sectors,” Gartner’s Kitagawa said. Kitagawa added that the second-quarter results “could suggest healthy PC sales activities among the public sectors,” and the market could continue to get a boost for businesses upgrading to the new Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.


Middle Innings: 

Less Means More: And by “less” we mean “6,500 fewer Seagate Technology employees,” and “more” means “more value for Seagate shareholders.”

Seagate, the world’s top maker of hard-disk drives, watched its shares surge almost 22 percent to close Tuesday at $29.35, one day after the company said it would shed 6,500 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce. In late June, Seagate said it would cut 1,600 jobs in a corporate-wide restructuring.

Seagate’s late-Monday job cut announcement came at the same time the company said it expects to report fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $2.65 billion, up from a prior forecast of $2.3 billion in sales. The company will give its full quarterly report on Aug. 2.

Fee-Fi-Faster-Faster: If you, or someone you know is a subscriber to Google’s Project Fi, well, life is about to get a little big faster.

For those not familiar with it, Project Fi is a wireless service offered by Google that lets its subscribers use their phones in more than 135 countries and avoid the horror of coming back home with a huge data bill from their service providers. All that international data included in Project Fi plans, which cost $20 a month for unlimited calls and texts, and an additional ten bucks for each gigabyte of data one uses.

On Tuesday, Google said Project Fi subscribers will now be able to use international data networks at their high-speed limits. Project Fit had limited itself to 2G network speeds in international markets, but now subscribers who use the service will be automatically bumped up to whatever is the fastest network available to them.

Bottom Of The Lineup: 

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Tuesday…

Movin’ On Up: Gains came from NetSuite, Harmonic, Chegg, HP and Nektar Therapeutics.

In The Red: Decliners included Aemetis, Lending Club, Rocket Fuel, Proofpoint and Gigamon.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.7 percent to end the day at 5,022. It was the first time the Nasdaq closed above 5,000 since Dec. 31, 2015.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with a gain of 0.7 percent to put in a record-high close of 18,347.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also rose 0.7 percent to set its own closing high record of 2,152.

Quote Of The Day: “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and I congratulate her for that.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders, who on Tuesday finally gave his endorsement to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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Photo: HP Spectre laptop (Courtesy: HP Inc.)


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