FORTUNE—Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has plenty to be thankful for this holiday weekend. The company's fourth-quarter results, reported earlier this week, came in better than expected. HP's revenue for the quarter, $29.1 billion, beat Wall Street analysts' projections, as did earnings. As a result, shares of the company soared nearly 10% the day after CEO Meg Whitman's quarterly earnings call with investors.
But unfortunately for HP, the future may not be so bright once Thanksgiving passes. To put things in perspective, the company's revenue—while higher than expected—still dropped year-over-year. (For the third year in a row, I might add.) Nearly every one of its business units declined in this most recent quarter; HP's Enterprise Group was the one bright spot, up 2% from last year. The company has already shed 13,000 jobs in the last fiscal year, and will likely cut several thousand more in the coming months. CEO Whitman's plan to focus the company on long-term growth businesses like software and cloud services has yet to translate into significant improvements or growth. In other words, a slightly-stronger-than-expected fourth quarter in no way means that the company's turnaround strategy is working.
Of course, HP had no problem spinning its less-than-mediocre results into a positive.
"Through improved execution, strong cost management, and with the support of our customers and partners, HP ended fiscal 2013 on a high note," Whitman said in a release issued on Tuesday. "Our Q4 results demonstrate that HP's turnaround remains on track heading into fiscal 2014. While we still have much more work to do, our business units and their core assets are delivering on HP's strategy to help customers thrive by providing solutions for the New Style of IT."
To be fair, Whitman is only two years into her five-year plan. And yes, declines were smaller in this most recent quarter. But it's not yet clear how HP will bolster not only top-line growth but profits, in light of aggressive cost-cutting in its product lines and slumping sales of PCs and printers, still an important source of revenue for HP. Morale has no doubt improved since Whitman stabilized the company's corporate ranks, but hiring and retaining talent could still be an issue—luring engineers is harder than ever in Silicon Valley. So while Whitman can sit back and enjoy her turkey leftovers this weekend, come Monday the holiday—and fourth quarter—haze will likely wear off.
Now that HP's going to be dropped from the Dow, it's time to reevaluate what to do with the aging tech giant.
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* In light of news that HP (HPQ) is restructuring, CEO Meg Whitman says she's unsure at this point how many people will be laid off. (The Wall Street Journal)
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Fortune's curated selection of tech stories from the weekend. Sign up to get the round-up delivered to you each and every day.
"If you don't fail, you haven't tried hard enough."
-- Shervin Pishevar, Menlo Ventures Managing Partner (TechCrunch)
* HP (HPQ) has finally decided the fate of the WebOS operating system, and things are looking up. The company announced that it's making WebOS "open source," allowing developers and other hardware manufacturers to freely MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 12, 2011 3:30 AM ET
Fortune's curated selection of newsworthy tech stories from the last 24 hours. Sign up to get the round-up delivered to you every day.
* HP CEO Meg Whitman told the French newspaper Le Figaro that, if you count iPads as PCs, Apple (AAPL) will likely surpass her company as the leading PC vendor next year. (Though, HP wants to reclaim that title come 2013.) Also, Whitman said the company could announce the fate of its webOS operating MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 1, 2011 9:24 AM ET
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