Print Is an HP Cash Cow
Most analysts say the Exstream acquisition is a smart move for HP, whose printing and imaging business remains strong, but is not growing as fast as some other areas of the company. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, for instance, HP's imaging and printing division generated revenues of $7.55 billion, compared with total company revenues of $28.23 billion. During the fourth quarter of 2006, the printing business' total $7.23 billion of revenue constituted a larger portion of the $24.56 billion total company revenues. "Printing is still a cash cow for HP, but it is not as big a part of the company as it used to be," said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research.
Rob Enderle, a technology consultant with the Enderle Group, suggests that, unlike other printing assets such as inkjet printers and cartridges, the online document editing and sharing that Exstream helps enable will continue to have growth potential even if the world moves toward that proverbial paperless office in which documents are managed on computer screens and not printed on paper as often.