H-P issues cash flow guidance, promises to step up dividends/buybacks

|By:, SA News Editor

In addition to providing roughly in-line FY14 revenue and EPS guidance, H-P (HPQ +8.2%) is guiding for FY14 operating cash flow of $9B-$9.5B and free cash flow of $6B-$6.5B. The guidance implies a healthy $3B in capex, and a decline in FCF from the $8B forecast for FY13. (PR)

H-P does, however, promise to return at least half of its FY14 FCF via dividends and buybacks. H-P's buybacks have slowed to a trickle in FY13 - they totaled only $3M in FQ3 - as the company worked to pare its debt load. "Operating company net debt" is said to have fallen by nearly $8B thus far in FY13.

Also: H-P forecasts its enterprise services unit will see a 4%-6% revenue drop in FY14, but also (thanks in no small part to huge layoffs) improve its op. margin to 3.5-4.5%. Long-term, H-P is still targeting 3%-5% rev. growth and a 7%-9% op. margin for the business.

Enterprise services, which is contending with share losses and (like peers) the cannibalizing impact of cloud services, posted a 9% Y/Y rev. drop and a 3.3% op. margin (-770 bps Y/Y) in FQ3.

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