Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) results for the fourth quarter, ending October 31, were decent. Revenue was down, gross profit was down, and operating income was down, but there was joy in Palo Alto with some segments showing turnaround tendencies. “Through improved execution, strong cost management, and the support of our customers and partners, HP ended fiscal 2013 on a high note,” HP CEO Meg Whitman said in a company statement.

HP posted $29.1 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, a three percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012. On a constant currency basis, the decline was one percent. The company’s net income in the quarter was $1.95 billion, a 14 percent decline from the year-ago quarter but a major improvement compared to the last two quarters of 2012. The firm’s operating income as a percentage of revenue increased to 9 percent from 8.4 percent in the third quarter.

Our View
Whitman has said that 2014 will be a “pivotal year” for the company and the turnaround she began when taking over as CEO over two years ago is “on track.” HP is not out of the water yet and still has a long road ahead. It is rebuilding itself yet many of its businesses continue to struggle with either secular decline affecting the entire industry or management taking its collective “eye off the ball.” The maxim, “plan your work and then work your plan,” puts the ball in HP’s court.