Surging Laptop Demand Helps HP, Dell Amid Office-Spending Slump

Hot demand for laptops as people work and learn remotely helped HP Inc. HPQ -0.36% and Dell Technologies Inc. DELL -1.36% soften the hit from a slowdown in office-equipment spending during the coronavirus pandemic.HP Thursday said laptop sales surged 30% in the July quarter from a year ago, helping the company limit its revenue drop to 2%, as it reported $14.29 billion in sales, surpassing Wall Street’s projection of $13.34 billion. The decline was driven by the printer business, as well as lower sales of desktops and workstations, with companies investing less in office equipment as employees work from home.

Meanwhile, Dell said consumer revenue jumped 18% for the business that includes computer sales, while commercial-client sales slumped 11%. Overall revenue, much like for HP, fell 3% to $22.7 billion.“We saw strength in the government sector and in education, with orders up 16% and 24%, respectively, as parents, teachers and school districts prepare for a new frontier in virtual learning,” Dell Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clarke said in a statement.