Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) reported better-than-expected revenue of $8.2 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2017, up 3 percent from the prior-year period. Results were boosted by strong networking equipment and all-flash storage sales.
“Aruba continues to perform exceptionally well,” HPE CEO Meg Whitman said on the earnings conference call, adding that Aruba “reignited the wired networking business” in the U.S.
HPE acquired the WiFi equipment provider in 2015 for $2.7 billion. The Aruba portfolio includes on-demand networking products for WiFi and wide area network (WAN) connectivity. Whitman said Aruba wireless local area network (WLAN) sales grew more than 30 percent in the quarter. “Aruba continues to take share from competitors like Cisco,” she added.
The company’s all-flash storage sales also grew 30 percent year-over-year, driven by Nimble, the storage startup HPE bought for $1 billion earlier this year. Whitman said the all-flash storage “exceeded both revenue and profit plans for the quarter” and she expects this segment to grow “at least in the double digits for the foreseeable future.”
“It’s faster, better, cheaper,” Whitman said about all-flash storage. “And that is usually a winning formula for CIOs and we are seeing a huge amount of interest in all-flash as CIOs continue to be under cost pressure and performance pressure. This is a fundamental trend in the data center.”
Also this quarter HPE launched its first hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) system integrated with Simplivity software that it acquired for $650 million in January. “Hyperconverged is core to our strategy of making hybrid IT simple for our customers and we saw over 200 percent growth in Q3, although off a small base.” Whitman said.
Despite its third-quarter revenue growth, HPE lowered its full-year profit forecast to $1.36 to $1.40 per share, from previous guidance of $1.46 to $1.56 per share. The company cited costs associated with the close of its software business spinoff.
On Sept. 1, HPE completed the $8.8 billion deal under which its non-core software business, Seattle SpinCo, merged with United Kingdom-based Micro Focus.
Whitman ‘Not Going Anywhere’
Whitman also addressed her flirtation with jumping ship at HPE for the post of Uber CEO.
Whitman had been rumored to be a successor to ousted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in mid-June. In July, however, she tweeted that she was “not going anywhere. Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman,” she wrote.
Whitman reportedly reentered the race in late August, but the Uber board ultimately chose former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Whitman assured investors that she is committed to HPE.
“I was called in very late in the Uber search,” said Whitman, who is also a former eBay CEO. “I thought it was a very interesting business model to me, quite similar to eBay in many ways. In the end it wasn’t the right thing. It has really nothing to do with HPE.
“I’ve dedicated the last six years of my life to this company and there is much more work to do. I am actually not going anywhere.”