SAN JOSE -- Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman told analysts Wednesday that the troubled company was making progress revitalizing its business and discounted speculation that more drastic cost cuts were coming.
During the first of a two-day meeting with Wall Street experts at the San Jose Convention Center, HP officials predicted that their decline in revenue last year -- down $7 billion from its 2011 total of $127 billion -- would "moderate" in fiscal 2014 "with pockets of growth."
Moreover, Whitman, who took over as CEO in September 2011, painted a decidedly upbeat picture of where she believes the company is heading.
"While there is a lot more work to be done, we are making progress," she said, acknowledging that the storied corporation had faltered badly in recent years. "HP is a strong company with a proud heritage," she added, noting that "some incredible opportunities lie ahead for us."
In response, Needham & Co. analyst Richard Kugele agreed that "HP has made progress on its multiyear turnaround." But he questioned whether it was appropriate to invest in HP now, "given the growth challenges the company is facing in nearly every product category."
Besides being hurt by the sluggish economy, HP has suffered because of its heavy reliance on sales of personal computers and printer products, which have faltered as consumers have turned to smartphones and tablets.
In a separate announcement Wednesday, market research firm Gartner reported that worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.3 million in the third quarter this year, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period a year ago. Noting that HP and Lenovo are fighting for supremacy in the PC business, Gartner added, "the upcoming holiday sales season will be a key battlefield for both companies."