Hewlett-Packard (HP) has been making a strong comeback in recent years. HP is one of the oldest companies in the Silicon Valley, which has been around since the 1940s. They have been the leaders of the technology world for many decades, but fell out of favor for the last 10-20 years.
But things have been changing slowly at HP and there is every chance that HP could be the next turnaround story. As of today, the HP stock is worth $21.82 and the company’s market cap is just over $35 billion. This is nothing compared to companies like Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, but HP is on the way up.
HP’s top line growth was 10 percent in its last quarterly report. HP computer and printer sales have been picking up. HP probably missed out on a lot of revenue by not coming up with a smartphone. Otherwise, they would be doing even better than they are doing right now.
HP was split into companies by the then-chairwoman Meg Whitman, who spun out a different company called Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE). HPE was supposed to be the new HP, which had nothing to do with traditional products such as printers and PCs. This was a company that focused singularly on the cloud.
But it didn’t really work out so well for HPE. That company’s cloud efforts largely failed and HPE could not even outperform the traditional business, HP.
HP did better than HPE despite the fact that it was forced to take on all of the old debt of the old company. It held on to two businesses – PCs and printers – that everyone said were a dead end.
But surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, HP has gone on from strength to strength.
HP’s turnaround story is similar to that of Apple’s in the late 1990s. Back then, Apple was down in the dumps like HP is right now. But thanks to Steve Jobs visionary leadership and flagship products such as iPod and then the iPhone and iPad, Apple woke up from its prolonged slumber and emerged as the biggest company on the planet.
For HP to be like Apple, they need to have a product that goes viral like the iPod did. They need to come up with a number of popular new products that captures the imagination of consumers.
HP is doing just that. They are the industry leaders in the manufacture of 3D printers, which could potentially be the greatest technological innovation of the 21st century, even superior to the iPhone.
3D printer is a revolutionary technology which allows anyone to create products out of thin air. Wikipedia defines 3D printing as, “any of various processes in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object, with material being added together.”
It could, for example, allow you to create a toy, a pen, a computer or even a car out of thin air. There is a lot about 3D printers that could have come out straight from science fiction, but it is for real.
HP’s leadership in the 3D printing technology could potentially leapfrog it from an also-ran to one of the most important companies in the world. Time will tell.