Hewlett Packard Enterprise CFO: Company’s Confident on ‘Opportunities for Growth’ (MESA)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise continues to see “opportunities for growth,” especially in the “high-growth areas” that include high-performance computing, according to CFO Tim Stonesifer. “We need to continue to invest” in such high-growth areas, he told the Morgan Stanley Technology. Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco Feb. 28. Singling out high-performance compute, he said that’s an $8 billion-$10 billion market that is growing at a rate of 7-8%. “That’s an attractive marketplace for us” and offers strong margins, he said.

“We feel very good about our strategy,” he said at the conference. That’s despite the decline in revenue that Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported Feb. 23 for its first quarter (ended Jan. 31). The conference moderator pointed out that the company’s server business was weaker than a year ago and revenue in its storage business was also weaker than a year ago, while that business even performed weaker than it did for rivals who have, so far, reported results for their most recent quarters.

Regarding the storage business, “the market is definitely tough,” Stonesifer said, adding the traditional storage market was down 10-12% in the first quarter. Hewlett Packard Enterprise also had “some portfolio gaps” that are being improved, he said.

In general, he said: “The marketplace is tough. There’s no doubt about it. Competition is tough. Those factors don’t really change” for the foreseeable future. But he said: “I feel good about the team we have in place.” Although “we did have execution issues” in the first quarter, the company has plans to “go out and fix it,” he said.

Earlier at the conference, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said his company’s Showtime Anytime and CBS All Access over-the-top (OTT) services were both “doing extremely well – once again, ahead of projections.” CBS was “very pleased where they are at, both creatively and financially” and in terms of the number of subscriptions, he said. “The Good Fight” recently premiered and the spinoff of the CBS show “The Good Wife” is the first exclusive original series on CBS All Access. Viewership numbers for the new show “have been very positive” so far, he said, but didn’t provide specifics.

The CBS All Access exclusive series “Star Trek: Discovery” will “probably” follow in late summer or early fall, he said. That represents another delay for that show, which was originally expected to premiere in January this year and was later delayed until May to give its producers more time that they asked for, Moonves said in September.

He told the Morgan Stanley conference Feb. 27 that CBS didn’t want to rush the show because it was important to get it right for the property’s many fans.

Discussing the increased level of competition as a result of the increasing number of OTT services, he said Feb. 27 that “we’re in a brave new world where everybody’s sort of in everybody’s business” and “there’s competition across every platform basically, with every distributor.” It’s a subject that keeps coming up in conversations CBS has with other TV service providers, he said, adding: “We’re competing with everybody and we’re also partnering with everybody. And that’s how everybody’s looking at the world. It’s a new day.”

Moonves also told the conference that TV measurement data is “extremely important,” but still not factoring in all viewers of content in this increasingly digital world. He said: “Nielsen is still the most important measurement we have. We still depend on them … . We want measurement to be as good as it can be. Obviously, with all the different ways people are watching television now, it’s really important that they get as sophisticated and as thorough as possible. That’s only good for us. So, we’re rooting them on.”