SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|(Mark One)|| || |
|☒|| ||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021
|☐|| ||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-37483
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
| ||(I.R.S. employer|
|11445 Compaq Center West Drive,||Houston,||Texas||77070|
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip code)|
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (650) 687-5817
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common stock, par value $0.01 per share||HPE||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer", "smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
|Large accelerated filer||☒||Accelerated filer||☐||Non-accelerated filer||☐||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No x
The aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates was $20,839,669,847 based on the last sale price of common stock on April 30, 2021.
The number of shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company common stock outstanding as of December 7, 2021 was 1,293,439,907 shares.
|DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE|
|DOCUMENT DESCRIPTION|| ||10-K PART|
Portions of the Registrant's proxy statement related to its 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days after Registrant's fiscal year end of October 31, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
For the Fiscal Year ended October 31, 2021
Table of Contents
This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Item 7, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If the risks or uncertainties ever materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and its consolidated subsidiaries ("Hewlett Packard Enterprise") may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. The words "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "optimistic", "intend", "aim", "will", "should," and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the scope and duration of the novel coronavirus pandemic ("COVID-19") and its impact on our business, operations, liquidity and capital resources, employees, customers, partners, supply chain, financial results, and the world economy; any projections of revenue, margins, expenses, investments, effective tax rates, interest rates, the impact of tax law changes and related guidance and regulations, net earnings, net earnings per share, cash flows, liquidity and capital resources, inventory, goodwill, impairment charges, hedges and derivatives and related offsets, order backlog, benefit plan funding, deferred tax assets, share repurchases, currency exchange rates, repayments of debts including our asset-backed debt securities, or other financial items; any projections of the amount, execution, timing and results of any transformation or impact of cost savings; restructuring plans, including estimates and assumptions related to the anticipated benefits, cost savings, or charges of implementing transformation and restructuring plans; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations, as well as the execution of corporate transactions or contemplated acquisitions, research and development expenditures, and any resulting benefit, cost savings, charges, or revenue or profitability improvements; any statements concerning the expected development, performance, market share or competitive performance relating to products or services; any statements regarding current or future macroeconomic trends or events and the impact of those trends and events on Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its financial performance; any statements regarding pending investigations, claims or disputes; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties, and assumptions include the need to address the many challenges facing Hewlett Packard Enterprise's businesses; the competitive pressures faced by Hewlett Packard Enterprise's businesses; risks associated with executing Hewlett Packard Enterprise's strategy; the impact of macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the need to manage third-party suppliers, the distribution of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's products, and the delivery of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's services effectively; the protection of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's intellectual property assets, including intellectual property licensed from third parties and intellectual property shared with its former parent; risks associated with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's international operations (including pandemics and public health problems, such as the outbreak of COVID-19); the development and transition of new products and services and the enhancement of existing products and services to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its suppliers, customers, clients, and partners, including any impact thereon resulting from events such as the COVID-19 pandemic; the hiring and retention of key employees; the execution, integration, and other risks associated with business combination and investment transactions; the impact of changes to environmental, global trade, and other governmental regulations; changes in our product, lease, intellectual property or real estate portfolio; the payment or non-payment of a dividend for any period; the efficacy of using non-GAAP, rather than GAAP, financial measures in business projections and planning; the judgments required in connection with determining revenue recognition; impact of company policies, and related compliance; utility of segment realignments; allowances for recovery of receivables and warranty obligations; provisions for, and resolution of, pending investigations, claims and disputes; and other risks that are described herein, including but not limited to the items discussed in "Risk Factors" in Item 1A of Part I of this report and that are otherwise described or updated from time to time in Hewlett Packard Enterprise's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hewlett Packard Enterprise assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable law.
ITEM 1. Business
We are a global technology leader focused on developing intelligent solutions that allow customers to capture, analyze and act upon data seamlessly from edge to cloud. We enable customers to accelerate business outcomes by driving new business models, creating new customer and employee experiences, and increasing operational efficiency today and into the future. Our customers range from small-and-medium-sized businesses ("SMBs") to large global enterprises and governmental entities. Our legacy dates back to a partnership founded in 1939 by William R. Hewlett and David Packard, and we strive every day to uphold and enhance that legacy through our dedication to providing innovative technological solutions to our customers.
On November 1, 2015, HP Inc. ("former Parent"), formerly known as Hewlett-Packard Company ("HP Co.") spun-off Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company ("we", "us", "our", "Hewlett Packard Enterprise", "HPE", or "the Company") pursuant to a separation agreement (the "Separation and Distribution Agreement") (collectively the "Separation"). Since the Separation, we have operated as an independent, publicly-traded company.
On April 1, 2017, the Company completed the separation and merger of our Enterprise Services business with DXC Technology Company ("DXC", "the Everett Transaction" or "Everett").
On September 1, 2017, the Company completed the separation and merger of our Software business segment with Micro Focus International plc ("Micro Focus", "the Seattle Transaction" or "Seattle" ).
COVID-19 Pandemic Update
While great progress has been made in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic ("COVID-19" or "pandemic"), it remains a global challenge. In fiscal 2021, due to an unprecedented demand for electronic devices and related industry-wide supply constraints, the global economy encountered a challenging supply chain environment. The pandemic continues to have an impact on our financial performance and we are currently unable to predict the extent to which it may adversely impact our future business operations, financial performance and results of operations. For a further discussion of the risks, uncertainties and actions taken in response to COVID-19, see risks identified in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A.
In 2021, COVID-19 vaccines were broadly distributed and administered, and beginning October 4, 2021, we adopted a policy to require proof of vaccination from HPE personnel, contingent workers, and guests in order to return to our sites, where permitted by local laws and regulations and on the timeline determined appropriate for the geography (as of end of fiscal 2021, the policy was operationalized only in the U.S.). On October 20, 2021, we updated our vaccination policy to require vaccination as a condition of employment for all HPE personnel covered by President Biden's executive order, effective January 18, 2022. We recognize that there are existing legal challenges to the executive order, and we will ensure that the timing and scope of the implementation of our vaccination requirement is consistent with the legal status of the executive order. We are committed to help support costs for the vaccine through HPE health benefits or other programs, to the extent not covered by government programs, medical plans or other sources.
The pace of technology disruption continues to increase, and the pandemic has accelerated several megatrends. First, data at the edge is increasing exponentially, driven by the proliferation of devices. Secure connectivity is essential to enable the digital experiences we now rely on – and power new, engaging digital experiences in the future. Second, enterprises need a cloud experience everywhere to manage data and workloads wherever they live across a distributed enterprise. Third, data growth is creating countless new opportunities. Enterprises need ways to generate insights from this data to build new business models. Across these trends is the shift in how enterprises are consuming their technology. Increasingly, customers want to digitally transform while preserving capital and eliminating operating expense by paying only for the IT they use.
Data insights are critical to deliver business outcomes, but extracting value from data is challenging. Data is growing and evolving rapidly. Its characteristics are shifting, as it becomes more unstructured, more time-sensitive and more distributed. Frequently, data is siloed and spread across different multi-gen IT systems, often trapped in critical legacy architecture. Many organizations cannot adequately extract insights from their data at the edge or face cloud migration challenges because of their legacy applications. Customers need a data-first modernization approach across edge to data center to cloud.
We declared our vision to be the edge-to-cloud company. Our HPE GreenLake platform accelerates multi-generation IT transformation through a unified cloud services experience that enables customers to access, control and maximize the value of all their workloads and data. Our solutions across connectivity, cloud and data – which are increasingly being delivered as-a-service through HPE GreenLake – are complemented by HPE Pointnext services that provide unique transformation capabilities, as well as HPE Financial Services, which helps customers unlock financial capacity.
Human Capital Resources
At HPE we are united by our purpose, which is to advance the way people live and work. We believe technology’s greatest promise lies in its potential for positive change. This is the guidepost for each decision we make at HPE. We believe it not only helps guide our contribution to society, but also makes good business sense. Our company has always been an engine of innovation, and our approximately 60,400 employees as of October 31, 2021, are proud of the ways our technology enables our customers to achieve meaningful outcomes like curing disease, modernizing farming to cure world-hunger and democratizing transportation through autonomous vehicles.
Our Culture: We recognize the critical importance of talent and culture to the success of HPE and our ability to fulfill our purpose. We are passionate about the values that drive our success, which is why we believe in investing in our employees and in the communities where we live and work. HPE has intensified its focus on embedding these values into a vibrant culture that creates a superior team member experience and a highly engaged workforce, driving improvements across our communications, our reward programs, and our work environment. Through such efforts, we are fostering a collaborative, inclusive and inspiring experience for all our team members. Our most recent global engagement survey shows how these intentional efforts are making a difference, with our overall Employee Engagement Index increasing year-over-year and measuring 84%. More than 85% of team members would recommend HPE as a great place to work, and 89% say they are proud to work for HPE.
Building a Vibrant Culture: We have identified four key cultural beliefs that guide how we lead on a daily basis: belief in accelerating what’s next, in bold moves, in the “power of yes we can”, and in being a force for good. We embed these beliefs in a deep-rooted DNA that puts customers first, enabling us to partner, innovate and act with integrity. Our empowered and engaging culture is making HPE a destination for talent while driving innovation and excellence for our customers.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: We are committed to being unconditionally inclusive to capture the ideas and perspectives that fuel innovation and enable our workforce, customers, and communities to succeed in the digital age. This is because, by harnessing the potential of our technologies and our team members, we can be a force for good. Annual goals are set to increase the representation of both women and ethnically diverse talent by at least 1 percentage point year-over-year. At the close of fiscal 2021, the representation of women in our workforce had increased 1 percentage point since the prior year, with increased representation at every level worldwide, exceeding the goals in both technical and executive roles. We also increased our representation of all underrepresented minorities in the U.S., increasing such representation by 1.6 percentage points overall. The leadership standards clearly articulate that all people leaders are expected to continuously develop their inclusive leadership capabilities. Our Board, CEO and Executive Committee role model high standards for diversity, equity and inclusion and are leading sustainable change, with strong governance and oversight via our Inclusion and Diversity Council.
Talent: We invest in attracting, developing and retaining the best talent. We do this by communicating a clear purpose and strategy, transparent goal setting, driving accountability, continuously assessing, developing, advancing talent, and a leadership-driven talent strategy. The dynamism of our industry and our company enables team members to grow in their current roles and build new skills. Over the past year, our approximately 60,400 team members completed over 455,000 online and instructor-led courses across a broad range of categories – leadership, inclusion and diversity, professional skills, technical and compliance. HPE is deeply committed to identifying and developing the next generation of top tier leadership with a special focus on diverse and technical talent. We conduct an in-depth annual talent and succession review with our CEO and Executive Committee members. The process focuses on accelerating talent development, strengthening succession pipelines, and advancing diversity representation for our most critical roles.
Work That Fits Your Life: This global initiative, which was launched in 2019, is an important example of how HPE is investing in our culture and creating a team member experience that makes HPE a destination of choice for the best talent in the industry. It includes an industry-leading paid parental leave program (minimum 6 months), part-time work opportunities for new parents or team members transitioning to retirement, and "Wellness Fridays" encouraging team members to leave work early one Friday per month to focus on their well-being. HPE's broader wellness program offers flexibility built around team member needs while continuing to deliver on critical business results. Key features include mental health support including employee assistance programs and free headspace accounts, physical fitness activities, and financial wellness programs.
Total Rewards: HPE requires a uniquely talented workforce and is committed to providing total rewards that are market-competitive and performance based, driving innovation and operational excellence. Our compensation programs, practices, and policies reflect our commitment to reward short- and long-term performance that aligns with, and drives, stockholder value. Total direct compensation is generally positioned within a competitive range of the market median, with differentiation based on tenure, skills, proficiency, and performance to attract and retain key talent.
HPE’s strong and healthy culture is critical to accelerating what’s next for our customers and partners – and the success of our company. Our team is energized and more engaged than ever and will enable our ability to pivot and grow, which will, in turn, power the next chapter at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Our Business Segments, Products and Services
In October 2021, we renamed the segment previously known as High Performance Computing and Mission Critical Solutions ("HPC & MCS") to High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence ("HPC & AI").
Our operations are organized into six business segments: Compute, HPC & AI, Storage, Intelligent Edge, Financial Services ("FS"), and Corporate Investments and Other. The class of similar product categories within each segment which accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated net revenue in each of the past three years were as follows:
•Fiscal 2021 - Compute products, Compute services, Storage products
•Fiscal 2020 - Compute products, Storage products, Compute services
•Fiscal 2019 - Compute products, Storage products
A summary of our net revenue, earnings from operations and assets for our segments can be found in Note 2, "Segment Information", to our Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II. A discussion of certain factors potentially affecting our operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors."
Our Compute portfolio offers both general purpose servers for multi-workload computing and workload-optimized servers which offer the best performance and value for demanding applications. This portfolio of products includes our secure and versatile HPE ProLiant rack and tower servers; and HPE Synergy, a composable infrastructure for traditional and cloud-native applications. HPE ProLiant servers are the compute foundation for the fastest growing workloads in the industry including hyperconverged infrastructure ("HCI"), virtual workspaces ("VDI"), data management, transcoding and visualization. Compute offerings also include operational and support services. HPE GreenLake for Compute provides flexible Compute as-a-service ("aaS") IT infrastructure on a consumption basis.
HPC & AI
Our HPC & AI business offers standard and custom hardware and software solutions designed to support specific use cases. Our hardware solutions are segmented into several categories, High Performance Compute ("HPC"), Data Solutions, and Edge Compute. The HPC portfolio includes the HPE Apollo and Cray products that are sold as supercomputing systems, including exascale supercomputers (systems which have exaflops performance or a billion-billion calculations per second), to support data-intensive workloads for high performance computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence applications. The Data Solutions portfolio (previously named Mission Critical Solutions) includes the HPE Superdome Flex, HPE Nonstop and HPE Integrity product lines for critical applications such as payments and transaction processing that require high availability, fault-tolerant computing infrastructure. The Edge Compute product portfolio includes HPE Edgeline products for computing at the network edge. In connection with our hardware offerings, HPE offers a suite of software products, including AI-powered technologies designed to play a critical role in turning data into readily available, actionable information to fuel growth and innovation for our customers. These include the recently acquired Determined AI, which provides a software stack to train AI models using its open source machine learning platform.
HPC & AI offerings also include operational and support services and solutions delivered as-a-service through HPE GreenLake cloud services, which is a flexible as-a-service platform that HPE can provide on-premises or in a colocation facility. With offerings that are artificial intelligence-driven and built for hybrid cloud environments with GreenLake consumption models, we provide the right workload optimized destinations for data.
A portion of HPC & AI revenue is generated by sales to government entities, which are subject to the terms and rights for the convenience of the government entity. These terms and rights include in some instances a dependence on the appropriation of future funding and also termination rights contingent upon not achieving certain milestones. For a discussion of certain risks related to contracts with government entities, see Item 1A, "Risk Factors—Failure to comply with government contracting regulations could adversely affect our business and results of operations".
HPE Storage is transforming the customer experience with storage as-a-service and cloud data services through the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform and data infrastructure to enable customers to simplify IT and unlock greater levels of agility with a cloud operational experience. The customer experience transformation also includes AI and data-driven intelligence with
HPE InfoSight and HPE CloudPhysics. Customers can store and serve their data with speed and high availability to applications, secure and protect their data across hybrid clouds from ransomware and cyber threats, and gain data mobility across private cloud, public cloud, and multi-cloud environments.
The Storage portfolio includes primary storage with HPE Alletra that offers cloud-native data infrastructure, HPE Primera, HPE Nimble Storage and HPE 3PAR; software-powered hyper-converged infrastructure consisting of HPE Nimble Storage dHCI and HPE SimpliVity; disaster recovery and ransomware recovery with Zerto, our recent acquisition; backup as-a-service with HPE Backup and Recovery Service, and big data solutions running on HPE Apollo servers. Storage also provides solutions for secondary workloads and traditional tape, storage networking and disk products, such as HPE Modular Storage Arrays ("MSA") and HPE XP. We make our data infrastructure portfolio available as-a-service through HPE GreenLake. Storage offerings also include operational and support services, software subscription services, and solutions delivered as-a-service through HPE GreenLake.
The Intelligent Edge business is comprised of a portfolio of secure edge-to-cloud solutions operating under the Aruba brand that include wired and wireless local area network ("LAN"), campus and data center switching, software-defined wide area networking (from the Silver Peak acquisition), network security, and associated services to enable secure connectivity for businesses of any size. The primary business drivers for Intelligent Edge solutions are work from anywhere environments, mobility, and internet-of-things ("IoT"). The insights from data generated at the edge are key to driving new business outcomes and experiences.
The HPE Aruba Product portfolio includes wired and wireless local area network hardware products such as Wi-Fi access points, switches, routers and sensors. The HPE Aruba software and services portfolio includes cloud-based management, network management, network access control, analytics and assurance, location services software, and professional and support services, as well as as-a-service and consumption models through HPE GreenLake for the Intelligent Edge portfolio of products.
We also offer Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform), which takes a cloud-native approach to helping customers meet their connectivity, security, and financial requirements across campus, branch, data center, and remote worker environments, covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN, and wide area networking ("WAN").
Financial Services ("FS") provides flexible investment solutions, such as leasing, financing, IT consumption, and utility programs and asset management services, for customers that facilitate unique technology deployment models and the acquisition of complete IT solutions, including hardware, software and services from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and others. FS also supports financial solutions for on-premise flexible consumption models, such as HPE GreenLake. In order to provide flexible services and capabilities that support the entire IT life cycle, FS partners with customers globally to help build investment strategies that enhance their business agility and support their business transformation. FS offers a wide selection of investment solution capabilities for large enterprise customers and channel partners, along with an array of financial options to SMBs and educational and governmental entities.
Corporate Investments and Other
Corporate Investments and Other includes the Advisory and Professional Services ("A & PS") business which primarily offers consultative-led services, HPE and partner technology expertise and advice, implementation services as well as complex solution engagement capabilities; the Communications and Media Solutions ("CMS") business which primarily offers software and related services to the telecommunications industry; the Software business which offers HPE Ezmeral Container Platform and HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric; and Hewlett Packard Labs which is responsible for research and development.
We believe that we possess a number of competitive advantages that distinguish us from our competitors, including:
•Edge-to-cloud strategy and solutions uniquely solve customer challenges. As data grows and evolves and enterprises become increasingly distributed, HPE’s edge-to-cloud strategy is uniquely designed to enable customers to securely access, control and maximize the value of all their workloads and data assets to accelerate business outcomes. The HPE GreenLake platform is an open, secure, fully integrated platform that brings a unified experience across the edge, data center, colocation and cloud. It is automated and easy to consume with capacity available to scale up and down on demand. It offers true pay per use consumption so customers only pay for what they use, and they can have the entire hybrid cloud experience managed for them through our HPE GreenLake managed services offering.
•Comprehensive portfolio. We have a distinctive and industry leading portfolio of edge-to-cloud solutions and unique capabilities to help accelerate our customers' digital transformations. We combine our software-defined infrastructure and services capabilities to provide what we believe is the strongest portfolio of enterprise solutions in the IT industry. Our ability to deliver a comprehensive IT strategy and connect our customers' data from edge to cloud, through our high-quality products and high-value consulting and support services in a single package, is one of our principal differentiators.
•Differentiated consumption-based IT solutions for a growing opportunity. Enterprises of all sizes are looking to digitally transform in order to develop next-generation cloud-native applications, create actionable insights from their data, and drive business growth, but they face many challenges including lack of in-house IT skills, limited budgets and options for financing, and lack of flexibility to choose the technology foundation that best meets their needs. Consumption-based IT offers solutions to these challenges by providing greater agility, empowering people to shift from managing infrastructure to driving innovation by leveraging insights from their data, while eliminating capital and operating expenses tied to infrastructure over-provisioning. HPE is distinctly differentiated in delivering a true consumption-based IT experience.
•Multi-year innovation roadmap and strong balance sheet. We have been in the technology and innovation business for over 80 years. Our vast intellectual property portfolio and global research and development capabilities are part of a broader innovation roadmap designed to help organizations take advantage of the expanding amount of data available and leverage the latest technology developments like cloud, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity to drive business outcomes now and in the future. We also have a strong balance sheet and liquidity profile that provides the financial flexibility and speed to take advantage of acquisition opportunities.
•Global distribution and partner ecosystem. We are experts in delivering innovative technological solutions to our customers in complex multi-country, multi-vendor and/or multi-language environments. We have one of the largest go-to-market capabilities in our industry, including a large ecosystem of channel partners, which enables us to market and deliver our product offerings to customers located virtually anywhere in the world.
•Custom financial solutions. Through Financial Services we can help customers create investment capacity to accelerate their transformations by helping them free up capital, capture value from older assets, achieve sustainability goals, invest in new technologies as-a-service, and weather financial volatility. Financial Services is also an enabler of our consumption-based IT models by helping spread our upfront solution costs over the duration of the customer contract. Through Financial Services' Global Asset Recovery Centers, we are helping customers achieve their own sustainability goals by recovering over 3 million IT assets in fiscal 2020 and refurbishing close to 90% for reuse.
•Experienced leadership team. Our management team has an extensive track record of performance and execution. We are led by our President and Chief Executive Officer, Antonio Neri, who has proven experience in developing transformative business models, building global brands and driving sustained growth and expansion in the technology industry. Mr. Neri's experience includes over 20 years combined at HPE and HP Co. in various leadership positions. Our senior management team has many years of experience in our industry and possesses extensive knowledge of and experience in the enterprise IT business and the markets in which we compete.
•Open platforms. The world is shifting from centralized and closed approaches in large data centers to a future of centers of data everywhere which are highly decentralized and distributed. This shift demands a common cloud platform that can put the agility and intelligence close to the customers data sources to create real-time insights, everywhere. Many of our competitors want to lock customers into a cloud stack. Conversely, we believe that the cloud experience should be open and seamless across all our customers' clouds — and the best cloud transformation partner is one who is unbiased and offers choice. We are unique in our ability to enable any hybrid cloud strategy and a consistent experience that is open to any cloud and differentiated with our partner integrations.
Sales, Marketing and Distribution
We manage our business and report our financial results based on the segments described above. Our customers are organized by commercial and large enterprise groups, including business and public sector enterprises, and purchases of our products, solutions and services may be fulfilled directly by us or indirectly through a variety of partners, including:
•resellers that sell our products and services, frequently with their own value-added products or services, to targeted customer groups;
•distribution partners that supply our solutions to resellers;
•original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") that integrate our products and services with their own products and services, and sell the integrated solution;
•independent software vendors that provide their clients with specialized software products and often assist us in selling our products and services to clients purchasing their products;
•systems integrators that provide expertise in designing and implementing custom IT solutions and often partner with us to extend their expertise or influence the sale of our products and services; and
•advisory firms that provide various levels of management and IT consulting, including some systems integration work, and typically partner with us on client solutions that require our unique products and services.
The mix of our business conducted by direct sales or channel differs substantially by business and region. We believe that customer buying patterns and different regional market conditions require us to tailor our sales, marketing and distribution efforts accordingly. We are focused on driving the depth and breadth of our coverage, in addition to identifying efficiencies and productivity gains, in both our direct and indirect businesses. This has resulted in a combined go-to-market model, in which we have a direct sales presence in a number of countries, while we sell and deliver our products, solutions and services through a channel-only model in the remaining countries. In those countries where we have a direct sales presence, we typically assign an account manager to manage relationships across our business with large enterprise customers as well as with large public sector accounts. The account manager is supported by a team of specialists with product and services expertise. For other customers, our businesses collaborate to manage relationships with commercial resellers targeting smaller accounts, both in the commercial and public sector space.
Manufacturing and Materials
We utilize a significant number of outsourced and contract manufacturers around the world to manufacture products that we design. The use of outsourced and contract manufacturers is intended to generate cost efficiencies and reduce time to market for our products as well as create manufacturing flexibility in our supply chain and processes. In some circumstances, third-party OEMs produce products that we purchase and resell under our brand. In addition to our use of outsourced and contract manufacturers, we currently manufacture a limited number of finished products from components and subassemblies that we acquire from a wide range of vendors.
Historically, we have utilized two primary methods of fulfilling demand for products: building products to order and configuring products to order. We build products to order to maximize manufacturing and logistics efficiencies by producing high volumes of basic product configurations. Alternatively, configuring products to order enables units to match a customer's particular hardware and software customization requirements. Our inventory management and distribution practices in both building products to order and configuring products to order seek to minimize inventory holding periods by taking delivery of the inventory and manufacturing shortly before the sale or distribution of products to our customers.
We purchase materials, supplies and product subassemblies from a substantial number of vendors. For most of our products, we have existing alternate sources of supply or such alternate sources of supply are readily available. However, we do rely on single-source suppliers for certain customized parts (although some of these sources have operations in multiple locations in the event of a disruption) and a disruption or loss of a single-source supplier could delay production of some products. In some instances, our single-source suppliers (e.g. Intel and AMD as suppliers of certain x86 processors) are also the single-source suppliers for the entire market; disruptions with these suppliers would result in industry-wide dislocations and therefore would not disproportionately disadvantage us relative to our competitors.
Like other participants in the IT industry, we ordinarily acquire materials and components through a combination of blanket and scheduled purchase orders to support our demand requirements for periods averaging 90 to 120 days. From time to time, we experience significant price volatility or supply constraints for certain components that are not available from multiple sources due to certain events taking place where our suppliers are geographically concentrated. When necessary, we are often able to obtain scarce components for somewhat higher prices on the open market, which may have an impact on our gross margin, but does not generally disrupt production. We also acquire component inventory in anticipation of supply constraints, or enter into longer-term pricing commitments with vendors to improve the priority, price and availability of supply. See "Risk Factors—We depend on third-party suppliers, and our financial results could suffer if we fail to manage our supplier relationships properly" in Item 1A.
As a result of the pandemic, the industry is being impacted by an increased worldwide demand for electronic components that is anticipated to last at least through the end of this calendar year. This global shortage impacts HPE and the technology market segment as a whole. While we anticipate further industry-wide tightening we took proactive inventory buffering measures in order to position us well during the second half of the fiscal year and going forward. We will take additional inventory actions as appropriate in alignment to the market demand, and will continue to leverage strong partnerships and long-term agreements with our suppliers.
Backlog represents the price of orders related to current or prior periods for which work has not been performed or goods have not been delivered as of the reporting period.
The higher levels of backlog we experienced in the prior-year period due to the pandemic were largely delivered by the end of fiscal 2020. At the same time, the global pandemic resulted in an unprecedented demand for electronic devices, which, coupled with related industry-wide supply constraints, has led to a challenging supply chain environment. Additionally, the pandemic continues to play a role with ongoing delays to the global logistics environment. As a result, in the second half of fiscal 2021, we experienced a shortage of electric components and logistics timing issues which resulted in significantly higher levels of order backlog and commodity costs across our hardware segments, and particularly in Compute, Storage and Intelligent Edge. Currently, we expect these challenging supply chain conditions to persist in the near term.
During the pandemic, we have also viewed backlog as an indication of demand health as governments around the world continue to impose restrictions on non-essential work activities and travel. As and when the pandemic subsides, our focus on backlog may again become less relevant as a reliable indicator of future demand.
For a further discussion of the risks, uncertainties and actions taken in response to the pandemic, see risks identified in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Item 1A.
Our products and services are available worldwide. We believe geographic diversity allows us to meet demand on a worldwide basis for our customers, draws on business and technical expertise from a worldwide workforce, provides stability to our operations, provides revenue streams that may offset geographic economic trends, and offers us an opportunity to access new markets for maturing products.
A summary of our domestic and international results is set forth in Note 2, "Segment Information", to our Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II. Approximately 68% of our overall net revenue in fiscal 2021 came from sales outside the United States.
For a discussion of certain risks attendant to our international operations, see "Risk Factors—Due to the international nature of our business, political or economic changes and the laws and regulatory regimes applying to international transactions or other factors could harm our future revenue, costs and expenses, and financial condition," and "—We are exposed to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates" in Item 1A, "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure about Market Risk" in Item 7A of Part II and Note 13, "Financial Instruments", to our Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II, which are incorporated herein by reference.
Research and Development
Innovation is a key element of our culture and critical to our success. Our research and development efforts ("R&D") are focused on designing and developing products, services and solutions that anticipate customers' changing needs and desires and emerging technological trends. Our efforts also are focused on identifying the areas where we believe we can make a unique contribution and where partnering with other leading technology companies will leverage our cost structure and maximize our customers' experiences.
Expenditures for R&D were $2.0 billion in fiscal 2021, $1.9 billion in fiscal 2020 and $1.8 billion in fiscal 2019. We anticipate that we will continue to have significant R&D expenditures in the future to support the design and development of innovative, high-quality products, services and solutions to maintain and enhance our competitive position.
Included in the R&D work currently taking place at the Company are the following initiatives:
In Compute, we are developing high quality next-generation compute solutions (servers, server attached options, and software) that integrate the latest industry technology, which coupled with other innovations from HPE are aligned to the requirements of our customers. In the area of software-as-a-service we are developing a cloud-native, cloud-based server management solution to complement our existing portfolio.
In HPC & AI, we deliver high-performance compute, storage, artificial intelligence and networking systems and solutions for the most demanding workloads. Our R&D investments are focused on developing new technologies in high-performance fabric, artificial intelligence platforms, scalable memory systems, and high-performance storage and data solutions that underpin our differentiated offerings. We also invest in software to enable our solutions. These investments include high-performance computing and artificial intelligence developer tools, cloud-native and scalable cluster management software, and transaction processing software. HPC & AI also hosts an applied research group, Labs, where we invest in long term, disruptive R&D including photonics, advanced systems architectures, and artificial intelligence software that comprise a pipeline of technologies to consider for future commercialization. All of our products are being developed with the potential to be delivered in a consumption model including integrated into our HPE GreenLake platform.
In the Storage data management domain, we are investing in new technologies to address the demand in current and emerging markets. Our comprehensive on-premise scalable infrastructure is transforming to utilize HPE’s leadership in Compute, Networking, and Storage to provide end-to-end cloud-native infrastructure. This infrastructure serves as a foundation for our as-a-service offering, includes the industry-first 100% guarantee, and delivers cloud-native infrastructure tightly integrated and managed by our AI engines. Creatively augmented by an all-inclusive as-a-service HPE GreenLake offering, HPE continues to power the edge-to-core-to-cloud data pipeline with embedded AI that delivers deep learning analytics across the full data lifecycle.
In Intelligent Edge, we are investing in our cloud native Edge Services Platform ("ESP"), which enables simplified operation of wired and wireless networks, together with software defined wide area network ("SD-WAN") connectivity. The ESP platform complements a broad range of network devices in our unified network infrastructure layer with security capabilities that enable us to identify and authenticate users and IoT endpoints, to enforce policy, and finely segment traffic based on context to contain security threats. We are also investing in automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence based network operations to optimize user experience and improve operator efficiency. Many of these capabilities are enabled with the Aruba Central cloud service, and we are investing to integrate Aruba Central as part of the broader HPE GreenLake as-a-service offering.
In Hewlett Packard Labs, we are focused on disruptive innovation and applied research in collaboration with other HPE business groups to deliver differentiated intellectual property ("IP"). Our innovation agenda is focused on developing technologies in the areas of system architecture, networking, AI, accelerators and silicon photonics. We also continue to invest in our silicon design capability to accelerate the development and delivery of our technology with custom integrated circuits.
For a discussion of risks attendant to our R&D activities, see "Risk Factors—If we cannot successfully execute our go-to-market strategy and continue to develop, manufacture and market innovative products, services and solutions, our business and financial performance may suffer" in Item 1A.
Our general policy is to seek patent protection for those inventions likely to be incorporated into our products and services or where obtaining such proprietary rights will improve our competitive position. As of October 31, 2021, our worldwide patent portfolio included approximately 13,000 issued and pending patents.
Patents generally have a term of up to 20 years from the date they are filed. As our patent portfolio has been built over time, the remaining terms of the individual patents across our patent portfolio vary. We believe that our patents and patent applications are important for maintaining the competitive differentiation of our products and services, enhancing our freedom of action to sell our products and services in markets in which we choose to participate, and maximizing our return on research and development investments. No single patent is in itself essential to our company as a whole or to any of our business segments.
In addition to developing our patent portfolio, we license intellectual property from third parties as we deem appropriate. We have also granted and continue to grant to others licenses and other rights under our patents when we consider these arrangements to be in our interest. These license arrangements include a number of cross-licenses with third parties.
For a discussion of risks attendant to intellectual property rights, see "Risk Factors—Our financial performance may suffer if we cannot continue to develop, license or enforce the intellectual property rights on which our businesses depend" and "—Our products and services depend in part on intellectual property and technology licensed from third parties" in Item 1A.
From time to time, the markets in which we sell our products, services and solutions experience weak economic conditions that may negatively affect sales. We experience some seasonal trends in the sale of our products and services. For example, European sales are often weaker in the summer months. However, the pandemic resulted in a temporary disruption to the seasonal fluctuation of our business. See "Risk Factors—Our uneven sales cycle makes planning and inventory management difficult and future financial results less predictable" in Item 1A.
We have a broad technology portfolio of enterprise IT infrastructure products, solutions and services. We encounter strong competition in all areas of our business. We compete primarily on the basis of technology, innovation, performance, price, quality, reliability, brand, reputation, distribution, range of products and services, ease of use of our products, account relationships, customer training, service and support, security, and the availability of our IT infrastructure offerings.
The markets in which we compete are characterized by strong competition among major corporations with long-established positions and a large number of new and rapidly growing firms. Most product life cycles are relatively short, and to remain competitive we must develop new products and services, continuously enhance our existing products and services and compete effectively on the basis of the factors listed above, among others. In addition, we compete with many of our current and potential partners, including OEMs that design, manufacture and market their products under their own brand names. Our successful management of these competitive partner relationships is critical to our future success. Moreover, we anticipate that we will have to continue to adjust prices on many of our products and services to stay competitive.
The competitive environments in which our segments operate are described below:
The Compute and Storage businesses operate in the highly competitive enterprise data center infrastructure market, which is characterized by rapid and ongoing technological innovation and price competition. Our primary competitors are technology vendors, such as Dell Technologies Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM"), and NetApp Inc. In certain regions, we also experience competition from local companies and from generically branded or "white-box" manufacturers. Our strategy is to deliver superior products, high-value technology support services and differentiated integrated solutions that combine our infrastructure, software and services capabilities. Our competitive advantages include our broad end-to-end solutions portfolio, supported by our strong intellectual property portfolio and research and development capabilities, coupled with our global reach and partner ecosystem.
HPC & AI predominantly operates in the market for data-intensive super-computing, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Our primary competitors are compute technology vendors that can design and build solutions that deliver performance scalability and connectivity necessary to handle super-compute and AI workloads, including Dell Technologies Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., and IBM. Similar to the compute space, our strategy is to deliver superior products, high-value technology support services and differentiated integrated solutions that combine our infrastructure, software and services capabilities. Our competitive advantages include our deep expertise and capabilities designing and delivering these solutions, broad end-to-end solutions portfolio, supported by our strong intellectual property portfolio and research and development capabilities, coupled with our global reach and partner ecosystem.
Intelligent Edge operates in the highly competitive networking and connectivity infrastructure market, which is characterized by rapid and ongoing technological innovation and price competition. Our primary competitors are technology vendors, such as Cisco Systems, Inc., Extreme Networks, Inc., Juniper Networks, Inc., and Arista Networks Inc. Our strategy is to deliver superior enterprise wired and wireless local-area networking components and software, high-value technology support services and differentiated integrated solutions that combine our infrastructure, software and services capabilities. Our competitive advantage includes our broad end-to-end solutions portfolio, supported by our strong intellectual property portfolio and research and development capabilities, coupled with our global reach and partner ecosystem.
Financial Services. In our financing business, our primary competitors are captive financing companies, such as IBM Global Financing, Dell Financial Services, and Cisco Capital, as well as banks and other financial institutions. Our primary IT Asset Disposition ("ITAD") competitors are ERI, Ingram Micro, Sage Sustainable Electronics, and Sims Recycling Solutions. We believe our competitive advantage over banks, other financial institutions, and ITAD providers is our ability to bring together our investment solutions with our expertise in managing technology assets. Not only are we able to deliver investment solutions that help customers create unique technology deployments based on specific business needs, but we also help them extract value from existing IT investments while more efficiently managing the retirement of those assets. All of these solutions can help customers accelerate digital transformation, create new budget streams, and meet Circular Economy objectives.
For a discussion of certain risks attendant to these competitive environments, see "Risk Factors—We operate in an intensely competitive industry, and competitive pressures could harm our business and financial performance" in Item 1A.
Living Progress - Living Progress is our business strategy for creating sustainable IT solutions that meet the technology demands of the future, while advancing the way people live and work. This strategy underpins our commitment to the environmental, social, and governance ("ESG") factors most important to stakeholders. Our edge-to-cloud strategy helps our customers transform and digitize their business while reducing our environmental footprint. A legacy of ESG leadership increases our competitiveness and differentiates us in the marketplace by helping our customers achieve their business objectives and sustainability goals. The HPE Board of Directors provides oversight of our ESG strategy, practices, and policies to ensure integration with our core business strategy.
Sustainable Value Creation - Sustainability performance has become a core business discipline within HPE. Our Living Progress program is an increasingly powerful component of our relationships with customers, and our sustainability credentials provide us with a competitive advantage, support talent acquisition and retention, and ensure ongoing access to global markets.
We remain committed to becoming a net zero enterprise by no later than 2050, with near-term targets set across our value chain to measure our progress.
In 2021, most of our greenhouse gas emissions ("GHG") resulted from the manufacture and use of our products. We recognize the opportunity to innovate technologies for a carbon-constrained world and are committed to delivering products and services that empower our customers to operate sustainably and efficiently while also gaining maximum productivity from their IT investments and reducing costs. For instance, as-a-service delivery models can drive the reduction of our climate impact and that of our customers, by eliminating IT inefficiencies and enabling sustainable digital transformations. HPE GreenLake, the Company's as-a-service offering, allows customers to consume IT resources and spend capital expenditures as needed, thereby reducing the energy and resource consumption of IT infrastructure through improved utilization and provisioning.
To ensure market access across the globe many of our products are certified by eco-labels such as Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool, TCO Certified, Energy STAR, China SEPA and the China Energy Conservation Program, thus helping our customers make responsible purchasing choices.
Material Government Regulations
Our business activities are subject to various federal, state, local, and foreign laws and our products and services are governed by a number of rules and regulations. Costs and accruals incurred to comply with these governmental regulations are presently not material to our capital expenditures, results of operations and competitive position. Although there is no assurance that existing or future government laws applicable to our operations, services or products will not have a material adverse effect on our capital expenditures, results of operations and competitive position, we do not currently anticipate material expenditures for government regulations. Nonetheless, as discussed below, we believe that global trade and certain ESG regulations could potentially materially impact our business.
Our products and operations are, or may in the future be, subject to various federal, state, local, and foreign laws and regulations concerning the environment, including, among others, laws addressing the discharge of pollutants into the air and water; the management, movement, and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes and the clean-up of contaminated sites; product safety, such as chemical composition, packaging and labeling; energy consumption of our products and services; and the manufacture and distribution of chemical substances. We are also subject to legislation in an increasing number of jurisdictions that makes producers of electrical goods, including servers and networking equipment, financially responsible for specified collection, recycling, treatment, and disposal of past and future covered products (sometimes referred to as "product take-back legislation"). Finally, as climate change and other ESG-related laws, regulations, treaties, and similar initiatives and programs are adopted and implemented throughout the world, we will be required to comply or potentially face market access limitations or other sanctions, including fines. However, we believe that technology will be fundamental to finding solutions to achieve compliance with and manage those requirements, and we are collaborating with industry, business groups and governments to find and promote ways that our technology can be used to address climate change and other ESG-related issues, and to facilitate compliance with related laws, regulations and treaties. We are committed to maintaining compliance with all environmental and ESG-related laws applicable to our operations, products and services, and to reducing our environmental impact across all aspects of our business. We meet this commitment with a comprehensive environmental, health and safety policy; a strict environmental management of our operations and worldwide environmental programs and services; an extensive supply chain responsibility program; and an approach to ethical standards and strong governance that are the foundations of our business.
As a global company, the import and export of our products and services are subject to laws and regulations including international treaties, U.S. export controls and sanctions laws, customs regulations, and local trade rules around the world. Such laws, rules and regulations may delay the introduction of some of our products or impact our competitiveness through restricting our ability to do business in certain places or with certain entities and individuals, or the need to comply with domestic preference programs, laws concerning transfer and disclosure of sensitive or controlled technology or source code, unique technical standards, localization mandates, and duplicative in-country testing and inspection requirements. The consequences of any failure to comply with domestic and foreign trade regulations could limit our ability to conduct business globally. We continue to support open trade policies that recognize the importance of integrated cross-border supply chains that will continue to contribute to the growth of the global economy and measures that standardize compliance for manufacturers to ensure that products comply with safety and security requirements.
For a discussion of the risks associated with government regulations that may materially impact us, see "Regulatory Risks" within "Risk Factors" in Item 1A.
Itanium is a trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.
Information about our Executive Officers
The following are our current executive officers:
|Antonio Neri||54||President and Chief Executive Officer|
|Thomas E. Black Jr.||52||Senior Vice President, General Manager of Storage|
|Kirt P. Karros||52||Senior Vice President, Finance and Treasurer|
|Neil B. MacDonald||53||Senior Vice President, General Manager of Compute|
|Alan May||63||Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer|
|Philip J. Mottram||53||President, Intelligent Edge|
|Jeff T. Ricci||60||Senior Vice President, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer|
|Tarek Robbiati ||56||Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer|
|Irving H. Rothman||75||President and Chief Executive Officer, HPE Financial Services|
|John F. Schultz||57||Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Legal Officer|
|Justin Hotard||47||Senior Vice President, General Manager of High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence|
Antonio Neri; President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Neri has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2017 and February 2018, respectively. Mr. Neri previously served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of our Enterprise Group from November 2015 to June 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Neri served in a similar role for HP Co.'s Enterprise Group from October 2014 to November 2015. Mr. Neri served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the HP Servers business unit from September 2013 to October 2014 and concurrently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the HP Networking business unit from May 2014 to October 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Neri served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the HP Technology Services business unit from August 2011 to September 2013 and as Vice President, Customer Services for the HP Personal Systems Group from 2007 to August 2011, having first joined HP Co. in 1996. Since December 2017, Mr. Neri has served as a director of Anthem, Inc., a health insurance provider in the U.S. From March 2012 to February 2013, Mr. Neri served as a director of MphasiS Limited, an India-based technology company.
Thomas E. Black Jr.; Senior Vice President, General Manager of Storage
Mr. Black has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of our Storage business segment since December 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Black served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Switching within our Intelligent Edge business segment from October 2018 to December 2019. From January 2016 to October 2018, Mr. Black served as the Vice President and General Manager of Switching within our Intelligent Edge business. From June 2013 to January 2016, Mr. Black was the Vice President of Engineering for the Networking group at HP Co., and later, at HPE. Prior to that, Mr. Black served in various roles, including Vice President of Engineering and other engineering positions at Cisco Systems from November 1999 to May 2013.
Kirt P. Karros; Senior Vice President, Finance and Treasurer
Mr. Karros has served as our Senior Vice President, Finance and Treasurer since November 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Karros served in a similar role at HP Co. and led its Investor Relations from May 2015 to October 2015. Mr. Karros previously served as Principal and Managing Director of Research for Relational Investors LLC, an investment fund, from 2001 to May 2015 and concurrently as a director of PMC-Sierra, a semiconductor company, from August 2013 to May 2015 and as a director of InnerWorkings, Inc. from August 2019 to October 2020.
Neil B. MacDonald; Senior Vice President, General Manager of Compute
Mr. MacDonald has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of our Compute business segment since February 2020. Prior to that, Mr. MacDonald served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Compute Solutions group of the then Hybrid IT business segment, from October 2018 to February 2020. Mr. MacDonald previously served as Vice President and General Manager of BladeSystem from August 2015 to October 2020, having first joined HP Co. in 1996.
Alan May; Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer
Mr. May has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer since June 2015. Before joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mr. May served as Vice President, Human Resources at Boeing Commercial Aircraft, a division of The Boeing Company, from April 2013 to June 2015. Prior to that, Mr. May served as Vice President, Human Resources for Boeing Defense, Space and Security at Boeing from April 2011 to June 2015 and as Vice President, Compensation, Benefits and Strategy at Boeing from August 2007 to April 2011. Mr. May has also served in senior human resources roles at Cerberus Capital Management and PepsiCo. He serves as a Trustee for the American Foundation for the Blind and is on the Board of Governors for the San Francisco Symphony.
Philip J. Mottram; President, Intelligent Edge
Mr. Mottram has served as the President of our Intelligent Edge business since June 2021. Prior to that, Mr. Mottram served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Communications Technology Group from April 2019 to June 2021. Before joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, he served as the Chief Revenue Officer of Zayo Group, a communications infrastructure provider, from November 2017 to February 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Mottram served as Director of the Enterprise Business Unit of Vodafone from May 2014 to November 2017, the Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong CSL from September 2012 to May 2014, and Executive Director of Global Sales at Telstra International from September 2010 to September 2012, as well as a variety of different operational roles at other telecommunications companies.
Jeff T. Ricci; Senior Vice President, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer
Mr. Ricci has served as our Senior Vice President, Controller and Principal Accounting Officer since November 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Ricci performed a similar role at HP Co. from April 2014 to November 2015. Previously, Mr. Ricci served as Controller and Principal Accounting Officer at HP Co. on an interim basis from November 2013 to April 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Ricci served as Vice President, Finance for several of HP Co.'s organizations, including Technology and Operations from May 2012 to November 2013, Global Accounts and HP Financial Services from March 2011 to May 2012, and HP Software from March 2009 to March 2011.
Tarek Robbiati; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Robbiati has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since September 2018. Before joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mr. Robbiati served as Chief Financial Officer of Sprint Corporation from August 2015 to February 2018. Mr. Robbiati previously served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of FlexiGroup Limited in Australia from January 2013 to August 2015. Prior to that, from December 2009 to December 2012, Mr. Robbiati was Group Managing Director and President of Telstra International Group in Hong Kong and Executive Chairman of Hong Kong CSL Limited ("CSL"), a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation Limited. From July 2007 to May 2010, Mr. Robbiati served as the Chief Executive Officer of CSL in Hong Kong.
Irving H. Rothman; President and Chief Executive Officer, HPE Financial Services
Mr. Rothman has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of our Financial Services business segment, our IT investment and financing subsidiary, since November 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Rothman served in a similar role at HP Co. from May 2002 to November 2015. Prior to joining HP Co., Mr. Rothman was President and Chief Executive Officer of Compaq Financial Services Corporation from January 1997 to April 2002.
John F. Schultz; Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Legal Officer
Mr. Schultz has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Legal Officer since July 2020. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer and Secretary from December 2017 to July 2020. Mr. Schultz previously served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary from November 2015 to December 2017, performing a similar role at HP Co. from April 2012 to November 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Schultz served as Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, Investigations and Global Functions at HP Co. from September 2008 to April 2012. Prior to joining HP Co., Mr. Schultz was a partner in the litigation practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, a law firm, from March 2005 to September 2008, where, among other clients, he supported HP Co. as external counsel on a variety of litigation and regulatory matters.
Justin Hotard; Senior Vice President, General Manager of HPC & AI
Mr. Hotard has served as our Senior Vice President and General Manager of HPC & AI global business group since March 2021. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Transformation from September 2020 to March 2021, where he led our transformation efforts to accelerate our pivot to as-a-service offerings. Prior to that, Mr. Hotard served as President and Managing Director of HPE Japan from October 2019 to September 2020, as Senior Vice President and General
Manager of the Compute Global Business Unit from January 2017 to October 2019 and as Vice President of Strategy, Planning and Operations in the Data Center Infrastructure Group from August 2015 to January 2017. Before joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mr. Hotard was President of NCR Small Business from July 2013 to November 2014 and Vice President of Corporate Development of NCR Corporation from July 2012 to August 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Hotard served in various corporate development and operational roles at Symbol Technologies and Motorola, Inc.
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available on our website at http://investors.hpe.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish those reports to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Corporate Governance Guidelines, Board of Directors' committee charters (including the charters of the Audit Committee, Finance and Investment Committee, HR and Compensation Committee, Technology Committee, and Nominating, Governance and Social Responsibility Committee) and code of ethics entitled "Standards of Business Conduct" are also available at that same location on our website. Stockholders may request free printed copies of these documents from:
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Attention: Investor Relations
11445 Compaq Center West Drive
Houston, Texas 77070
ITEM 1A. Risk Factors.
You should carefully consider the following risks and other information in this Form 10-K in evaluating Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its common stock. Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition. The following risk factors should be read in conjunction with Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation" and the Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes in Part II, Item 8, "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Form 10-K.
Business and Operational Risks
We are unable to predict the extent to which the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic may adversely impact our business operations, financial performance and results of operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control its spread have significantly curtailed the movement of people, goods and services worldwide, including in most or all of the regions in which we sell our products and services and conduct our business operations. The pandemic has resulted in a global slowdown of economic activity, including travel restrictions, prohibitions of non-essential activities in some cases, disruption and shutdown of businesses and greater uncertainty in global financial markets. Our operations have been affected by a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control, including the various restrictions imposed by cities, counties, states and countries on our employees, customers, partners and suppliers designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Although the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been assessed, the long-term magnitude and duration of the disruption and resulting decline in business activity is still highly uncertain and cannot currently be predicted.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of our employees, we have implemented a global work-from-home policy until further notice that applies to a significant majority of our employees, with the exception of those performing essential activities. Most recently, we have announced a vaccination requirement for covered U.S. employees as required by Executive Order 14042 for federal contractors. We recognize that there are existing legal challenges to Executive Order 14042, and we will ensure that the timing and scope of the implementation of our vaccination requirement is consistent with the legal status of Executive Order 14042. Our employees may elect to return to the office in jurisdictions where both local requirements and our own health and safety standards have been met. As such instances occur, employees have returned to the office in a phased process and remain subject to safety regimens anchored around vaccination or testing requirements, as we determine is appropriate based on local conditions. Moreover, certain industry and customer events that we sponsor or at which we present have been canceled, postponed or moved to virtual-only experiences, and we may deem it advisable to similarly alter, postpone or cancel entirely additional events in the future. We are also seeing an increase in customer requirements for HPE employees to be vaccinated and/or tested for COVID-19 before being able to enter customer sites, which could potentially present an operational challenge. Also, work-from-home and other modified business practices introduce additional operational risks, including cybersecurity risks, which may result in inefficiencies or delays, and have affected the way we conduct our product development, sales, customer support and other activities. Unanticipated disruptions in services provided through our localized physical infrastructure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can curtail the functioning of critical components of our IT systems, and adversely affect our ability to fulfill orders, provide services, respond to customer requests and maintain our worldwide business operations. Our implementation of employee vaccination requirements may result in attrition, including attrition of critically skilled labor, and difficulty securing future labor needs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
The pandemic has adversely affected, and could continue to adversely affect, our business, by negatively impacting the demand for our products and services; restricting our operations and sales, marketing and distribution efforts; disrupting the supply chains of hardware products; and disrupting our research and development capabilities, engineering, design and manufacturing processes and other important business activities. There have been, and will continue to be, delays of hardware product shipments from our vendors and out of our manufacturing operations worldwide as a result of capacity issues. We also expect product shipment delays as a result of shortages and capacity issues that continue to impact logistics operations.
We expect the COVID-19 pandemic could continue to have a negative impact on our sales and our results of operations, the size and duration of which we are currently unable to predict. While such changes were factored into the forecast used to assess assets for reserves and impairment, including goodwill, any changes to the profitability for the next fiscal year could impact the realizability of assets. Additionally, concerns over the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused extreme volatility in financial and other capital markets which has and may continue to adversely impact our stock price, our ability to access capital markets and our ability to fund liquidity needs.
To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business, results of operations, financial condition, and stock price, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K.
Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.
Our worldwide operations and supply chain could be disrupted by natural or human-induced disasters including, but not limited to, earthquakes; tsunamis; floods; hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons; fires; other extreme weather conditions; power or water shortages; telecommunications failures; materials scarcity and price volatility; terrorist acts, civil unrest, conflicts or wars; and medical epidemics or pandemics. We are predominantly self-insured to mitigate the impact of most catastrophic events. Although it is impossible to completely predict the occurrences or consequences of any such events, forecasting disruptive events and building additional resiliency into our operations accordingly will become an increasing business imperative. The occurrence of business disruptions could result in significant losses, seriously harm our revenue, profitability and financial condition, adversely affect our competitive position, increase our costs and expenses, decrease in demand for our products, make it difficult or impossible to provide services or deliver products to our customers or to receive components from our suppliers, create delays and inefficiencies in our supply chain, result in the need to impose employee travel restrictions and require substantial expenditures and recovery time in order to fully resume operations.
Climate change serves as a risk multiplier increasing both the frequency and severity of natural disasters that may affect our worldwide business operations. Our corporate headquarters is located in Houston, Texas, which suffers from floods, hurricanes, and other extreme weather, and a portion of our research and development activities are located in California, which suffers from drought conditions and catastrophic wildfires, each affecting the health and safety of our employees. In California, to mitigate wildfire risk, electric utilities are deploying public safety power shutoffs, which affects electricity reliability to our facilities and our communities. In 2017, our principal worldwide IT data centers in Houston were flooded due to Hurricane Harvey. Since then, HPE has increased its resiliency through site selection and infrastructure technological investments to mitigate and adapt to physical risks from climate change.
The manufacture of product components, the final assembly of our products and other critical operations are concentrated in certain geographic locations, including the United States, Czech Republic, Mexico, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Singapore. We also rely on major logistics hubs, which are strategically located near manufacturing facilities in the major regions and in proximity to HPE's distribution channels and customers. Our operations could be adversely affected if manufacturing, logistics or other operations in these locations are disrupted for any reason, including natural disasters, IT system failures, military actions or economic, business, labor, environmental, public health, regulatory or political issues. Other critical business operations and some of our suppliers are located in California and Asia, near major earthquake faults known for seismic activity. The ultimate impact on us, our significant suppliers and our general infrastructure of being located near vulnerable locations is continuing to be assessed.
Our transition to a subscription/consumption-based business model may adversely affect our business, operating results and free cash flow.
We are currently transitioning to an as-a-service company, providing our entire portfolio through a range of subscription/consumption-based, pay-per-use and as-a-service offerings. We will also continue to provide our hardware and software in a capital expenditure and license-based model, ultimately giving our customers choices in consuming HPE products and services in a traditional or as-a-service offering. Such business model changes entail significant risks and uncertainties, and we may be unable to complete the transition to a subscription/consumption-based business model or manage the transition successfully and in a timely manner, and our ability to accurately forecast our future operating results may be adversely affected. Additionally, we may not realize all of the anticipated benefits of the subscription/consumption transition, even if we successfully complete the transition. The transition to a subscription/consumption-based business model also means that our historical results, especially those achieved before we began the transition, may not be indicative of our future results. Further, as customer demand for our consumption model offerings increases, we will experience differences in the timing of revenue recognition between our traditional offerings (for which revenue is generally recognized at the time of delivery) and our as-a-service offerings (for which revenue is generally recognized ratably over the term of the arrangement).
In addition, the transition to an as-a-service company is expected to require incremental capital requirements, resulting in a negative impact to cash flows in the near term, and may require us to dedicate additional resources, including sales and marketing costs. Furthermore, we anticipate needing to redesign our go-to-market structure, to better align with the subscription/consumption-based business model. We must adapt our sales processes for new sales and marketing approaches, including those required by our shift to subscription/consumption services and other changes resulting from the pandemic. Changing our go-to-market structure may affect employee compensation models and ultimately our ability to retain employees. There is no assurance that we will be able to successfully implement these adjustments in a timely or cost-effective manner, or that we will be able to realize all or any of the expected benefits from such adjustments. Further, our subscription/consumption offerings could subject us to increased risk of liability related to the provision of services as well as operational, technical, legal or other costs.
We depend on third-party suppliers, and our financial results could suffer if we fail to manage our supplier relationships properly.
Our operations depend on our ability to anticipate our needs for components, products and services, as well as our suppliers' abilities to deliver sufficient quantities of quality components, products and services at reasonable prices and in time for us to meet critical schedules for the delivery of our own products and services. Given the wide variety of solutions that we offer, the large and diverse distribution of our suppliers and contract manufacturers, and the long lead times required to manufacture, assemble and deliver certain solutions, problems could arise in production, planning and inventory management that could seriously harm our business. In addition, our ongoing efforts to optimize the efficiency of our supply chain could cause supply disruptions and be more expensive, time-consuming and resource-intensive than expected. Furthermore, certain of our suppliers may decide to discontinue conducting business with us. Other supplier problems that we could face include component shortages, excess supply, and contractual, relational and labor risks, each of which is described below.
•Component shortages. We have been and currently are experiencing delays and shortages of certain components as a result of strong demand and capacity constraints due to economic changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in the operations of component suppliers, and other problems experienced by suppliers or problems faced during the transition to new suppliers. A surge in demand for silicon has arisen across numerous markets affecting availability of key components of our products and our supplier's products, which may adversely affect customer deliveries and our anticipated revenues. As shortages or delays persist, the price of certain components has increased and may continue to increase, we may be exposed to quality issues, or, at some point, the components may not be available at all. We may not be able to secure enough components at reasonable prices or of acceptable quality to build products or provide services in a timely manner in the quantities needed or according to our specifications. Accordingly, our business and financial performance could suffer if we lose time-sensitive sales, incur additional freight costs or are unable to pass on price increases to our customers. If we cannot adequately address supply issues, we might have to reengineer some product or service offerings, which could result in further costs and delays.
•Excess supply. In order to secure components for our products or services, at times we may make advance payments to suppliers or enter into long term agreements or non-cancelable commitments with vendors. In addition, we may purchase components strategically in advance of demand to take advantage of favorable pricing or to address concerns about the availability of future components. If we fail to anticipate customer demand properly, a temporary oversupply could result in excess or obsolete components, which could adversely affect our business and financial performance.
•Contractual terms. As a result of binding long-term price or purchase commitments with vendors, we may be obligated to purchase components or services at prices that are higher than those available in the current market and be limited in our ability to respond to changing market conditions. If we commit to purchasing components or services for prices in excess of the then-current market price, we may be at a disadvantage to competitors who have access to components or services at lower prices, our gross margin could suffer, and we could incur additional charges relating to inventory obsolescence. Any of these developments could adversely affect our future results of operations and financial condition.
•Contingent workers. We also rely on third-party suppliers for the provision of contingent workers, and our failure to manage our use of such workers effectively could adversely affect our results of operations. We have been exposed to various legal claims relating to the status of contingent workers in the past and could face similar claims in the future. We may be subject to shortages, oversupply or fixed contractual terms relating to contingent workers. Our ability to manage the size of, and costs associated with, the contingent workforce may be subject to additional constraints imposed by local laws.
•Single-source suppliers. We obtain certain components from single-source suppliers due to technology, availability, price, quality, scale or customization needs. Replacing a single-source supplier could delay production of some products as replacement suppliers may initially be unable to meet demand or be subject to other output limitations. For some components, such as customized components, alternative sources either may not exist or may be unable to produce the quantities of those components necessary to satisfy our production requirements. In addition, we sometimes purchase components from single-source suppliers under short-term agreements that contain favorable pricing and other terms but that may be unilaterally modified or terminated by the supplier with limited notice and with little or no penalty. The performance of such single-source suppliers under those agreements (and the renewal or extension of those agreements upon similar terms) may affect the quality, quantity and price of our components. The loss of a single-source supplier, the deterioration of our relationship with a single-source supplier or any unilateral modification to the contractual terms under which we are supplied components by a single-source supplier could adversely affect our business and financial performance.
We may not achieve some or all of the expected benefits of our restructuring plans and our periodic restructuring programs can be disruptive to our business.
We have announced restructuring plans, including the HPE Next initiative (whereby we are simplifying our operating model and streamlining our offerings, business processes and business systems) and the cost optimization and prioritization plan, in order to realign our cost structure due to the changing nature of our business and to achieve operating efficiencies that we expect to reduce costs, as well as simplify our organizational structure, upgrade our IT infrastructure and redesign business processes. We may not be able to obtain the cost savings and benefits that were initially anticipated in connection with our restructuring. Additionally, as a result of restructuring initiatives, we may experience a loss of continuity, loss of accumulated knowledge and/or inefficiency during transitional periods. Reorganization and restructuring can require a significant amount of management and other employees' time and focus, which may divert attention from operating and growing our business. If we fail to achieve some or all of the expected benefits of restructuring, it could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. For more information about our restructuring plans, the HPE Next initiative and the cost optimization and prioritization plan, see Note 3, "Transformation Programs", to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Any failure by us to identify, manage and complete acquisitions and subsequent integrations, divestitures and other significant transactions successfully could harm our financial results, business and prospects.
As part of our strategy, we may acquire businesses, divest businesses or assets, enter into strategic alliances and joint ventures, and make investments to further our business (collectively, "business combination and investment transactions"), and also handle any post-closing issues, such as integration. For example, in September 2020, we acquired Silver Peak Systems, Inc., an SD-WAN industry leader and in September 2019, we acquired Cray Inc., a global supercomputer leader. In April 2017 and September 2017, we spun off our Enterprise Services and Software businesses, respectively. See also the risk factors below under the heading "Risks Related to Prior Separations."
Risks associated with business combination and investment transactions include the following, any of which could adversely affect our financial results, including our effective tax rate:
•We may not successfully combine product or service offerings or fully realize all of the anticipated benefits of any particular business combination and investment transaction, which may result in (1) failure to retain employees, customers, distributors, and suppliers; (2) increase in unanticipated delays or failure to meet contractual obligations which may cause financial results to differ from expectations; and (3) significant increase in costs and expenses, including those related to severance pay, early retirement costs, employee benefit costs, charges from the elimination of duplicative facilities and contracts, inventory adjustments, assumed litigation and other liabilities, legal, accounting and financial advisory fees, and required payments to executive officers and key employees under retention plans.
•Our ability to conduct due diligence with respect to business combination and investment transactions, and our ability to evaluate the results of such due diligence, is dependent upon the veracity and completeness of statements and disclosures made or actions taken by third parties or their representatives. We may fail to identify significant issues with the acquired company's product quality, financial disclosures, accounting practices or internal control deficiencies or all of the factors necessary to estimate reasonably accurate costs, timing and other matters.
•In order to complete a business combination and investment transaction, we may issue common stock, potentially creating dilution for our existing stockholders or we may enter into financing arrangements, which could affect our liquidity and financial condition.
•For an acquisition or other combination, the acquisition partner may have differing or inadequate cybersecurity and data protection controls, which could impact our exposure to data security incidents and potentially increase anticipated costs or time to integrate the business.
•Business combination and investment transactions may lead to litigation, which could impact our financial condition and results of operations.
•We have incurred and will incur additional depreciation and amortization expense over the useful lives of certain assets acquired in connection with business combination and investment transactions and, to the extent that the value of goodwill or intangible assets acquired in connection with a business combination and investment transaction becomes impaired, we may be required to incur additional material charges relating to the impairment of those assets.
•For a divestiture, we may encounter difficulty in finding buyers or alternative exit strategies on acceptable terms in a timely manner, or we may dispose of a business at a price or on terms that are less desirable than we had anticipated.
•The impact of divestitures on our revenue growth may be larger than projected, as we may experience greater dis-synergies than expected. If we do not satisfy pre-closing conditions and necessary regulatory and governmental approvals on acceptable terms, it may prevent us from completing the transaction. Dispositions may also involve
continued financial involvement in the divested business, such as through continuing equity ownership, guarantees, indemnities or other financial obligations. Under these arrangements, performance by the divested businesses or other conditions outside of our control could affect our future financial results.
•Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could make it difficult or discourage an acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise if our Board of Directors deems it to be undesirable. Provisions such as indemnification, meeting requirements, and blank check stock authorizations could deter or delay hostile takeovers, proxy contests, or changes in control or management of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Management's attention or other resources may be diverted during business combination and investment transactions and further impacted if we fail to successfully complete or integrate business combination and investment transactions that further our strategic objectives.
System security risks, data protection incidents, cyberattacks and systems integration issues could disrupt our internal operations or IT services provided to customers, and any such disruption could reduce our revenue, increase our expenses, damage our reputation and adversely affect our stock price.
As a leading technology firm we are exposed to attacks from criminals, nation state actors and activist hackers (collectively, "malicious parties") who have been able to circumvent or bypass our cyber security measures. Although some of these attacks have caused disruptions or exposure of information, so far, these attacks have not resulted in material losses to HPE, nor have any of HPE's consumers, customers, or employees informed HPE that these attacks resulted in material harm to them. It is possible that future attacks may result in material misappropriation, system disruptions or shutdowns, malicious alteration, or destruction of our confidential or personal information or that of third parties. Malicious parties also may be able to develop and deploy viruses, worms, ransomware and other malicious software programs that attack our products or otherwise exploit any security vulnerabilities of our products. Malicious parties may compromise our manufacturing supply chain to embed malicious software or hardware in our products for use in compromising our customers. In addition, sophisticated hardware and operating system software and applications that we produce or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture, including flaws that could unexpectedly interfere with the operation of the system. The costs to us to eliminate or alleviate cyber or other security problems, including bugs, viruses, worms, malicious software programs and other security vulnerabilities, could be significant, and our efforts to address these problems may not be successful and could result in interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers that may impede our sales, manufacturing, distribution or other critical functions.
We manage and store various proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data relating to our business. In addition, our business may process, store and transmit customer data, including commercially sensitive and personal data, subject to the European General Data Protection Regulation and other privacy laws. With our business increasingly providing cloud service offerings, malicious parties could target such services, potentially resulting in an increased risk of compromise of customer data and regulatory exposure. Incidents involving our cyber or physical security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information, sensitive, confidential, or personal data about us, our clients or our customers, including the potential loss or disclosure of such information or data as a result of fraud, trickery or other forms of deception, could expose us, our customers or the individuals affected to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, result in regulatory fines, litigation and potential liability for us, damage our brand and reputation or otherwise harm our business. We also could lose existing or potential customers of services or other IT solutions or incur significant expenses in connection with our customers' system failures or any actual or perceived security vulnerabilities in our products and services. In addition, the cost and operational consequences of managing an incident and implementing further data protection measures could be significant.
Portions of our IT infrastructure also may experience interruptions, delays or cessations of service or produce errors in connection with systems integration or migration work that takes place from time to time. We may not be successful in implementing new systems and transitioning data, which could cause business disruptions and be more expensive, time-consuming, disruptive and resource intensive. Such disruptions could adversely impact our ability to fulfill orders and respond to customer requests and interrupt other processes. Delayed sales, lower margins or lost customers resulting from these disruptions could reduce our revenue, increase our expenses, damage our reputation and adversely affect our stock price.
If we cannot successfully execute our go-to-market strategy and continue to develop, manufacture and market innovative products, services and solutions, our business and financial performance may suffer.
Our long-term strategy is focused on leveraging our portfolio of hardware, software and services as we deliver global edge-to-cloud platform as-a-service to help customers accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions, including those utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, with a consistent experience across all clouds and edge computing platforms. To successfully execute this strategy, we must address business model shifts and optimize go-to-market execution by improving cost structure,
aligning sales coverage with strategic goals, improving channel execution and strengthening our capabilities in our areas of strategic focus, while continuing to pursue new product innovation that builds on our strategic capabilities in areas such as cloud and data center computing, software-defined networking, converged storage, high-performance compute, and wireless networking. Any failure to successfully execute this strategy, including any failure to invest sufficiently in strategic growth areas, could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The process of developing an edge-to-cloud platform as-a-service solution and enhancing existing hardware and software products, services, and solutions is complex, costly and uncertain, and any failure by us to anticipate customers' changing needs and emerging technological trends accurately could significantly harm our market share, results of operations and financial condition. For example, as the transition to an environment characterized by cloud-based computing and software being delivered as-a-service progresses, we must continue to successfully develop and deploy cloud-based solutions for our customers. We must make long-term investments, develop or obtain and protect appropriate intellectual property, and commit significant research and development and other resources before knowing whether our predictions will accurately reflect customer demand for our products, services and solutions. Should such efforts fail to produce actionable insights or our products not perform as promised, our business results may be adversely affected. Any failure to accurately predict technological and business trends, control research and development costs or execute our innovation strategy could harm our business and financial performance. Our research and development initiatives may not be successful in whole or in part, including research and development projects which we have prioritized with respect to funding and/or personnel.
After we develop an edge-to-cloud platform product, we must be able to scale quickly while also managing costs and preserving margins. To accomplish this, we must accurately forecast volumes, mixes of products and configurations that meet customer requirements, and we may not succeed at doing so within a given product's life cycle or at all. Any delay in the development, production or marketing of a new product, service or solution could result in us not being among the first to market, which could further harm our competitive position.
If we cannot continue to produce quality products and services, our reputation, business and financial performance may suffer.
In the course of conducting our business, we must adequately address quality issues associated with our products, services and solutions, including defects in our engineering, design and manufacturing processes and unsatisfactory performance under service contracts, as well as defects in third-party components included in our products and unsatisfactory performance or even malicious acts by third-party contractors or subcontractors or their employees. In order to address quality issues, we work extensively with our customers and suppliers and engage in product testing to determine the causes of problems and to develop and implement appropriate solutions. However, the products, services and solutions that we offer are complex, and our regular testing and quality control efforts may not be effective in controlling or detecting all quality issues or errors, particularly with respect to faulty components manufactured by third parties. If we are unable to determine the cause, find an appropriate solution or offer a temporary fix (or "patch") to address quality issues with our products, we may delay shipment to customers, which could delay revenue recognition and receipt of customer payments and could adversely affect our revenue, cash flows and profitability. In addition, after products are delivered, quality issues may require us to repair or replace such products. Addressing quality issues can be expensive and may result in additional warranty, repair, replacement and other costs, adversely affecting our financial performance. If new or existing customers have difficulty operating our products or are dissatisfied with our services or solutions, our results of operations could be adversely affected, and we could face possible claims if we fail to meet our customers' expectations. In addition, quality issues can impair our relationships with new or existing customers and adversely affect our brand and reputation, which could, in turn, adversely affect our results of operations.
If we fail to manage the distribution of our products and services properly, our business and financial performance could suffer.
We use a variety of distribution methods to sell our products and services around the world, including both direct and indirect (distributors and resellers) sales to enterprise accounts and consumers. Successfully managing the interaction of our direct and indirect channel efforts to reach various potential customer segments for our products and services is a complex process. Moreover, since each distribution method has distinct risks and gross margins, our failure to implement the most advantageous balance in the delivery model for our products and services could adversely affect our revenue and gross margins and therefore our profitability.
Our financial results could be materially adversely affected due to distribution channel conflicts or if the financial conditions of our channel partners were to weaken. Our results of operations may be adversely affected by any conflicts that might arise between our various distribution channels or the loss or deterioration of any alliance or distribution arrangement. Moreover, some of our wholesale distributors may have insufficient financial resources and may not be able to withstand changes in business conditions, including economic weakness, industry consolidation and market trends. Many of our
significant distributors operate on narrow margins and have been negatively affected by business pressures in the past. Considerable trade receivables that are not covered by collateral or credit insurance are outstanding with our distribution channel partners. Revenue from indirect sales could suffer, and we could experience disruptions in distribution, if our distributors' financial conditions, abilities to borrow funds in the credit markets or operations weaken.
Our inventory management is complex, as we continue to sell a significant mix of products through distributors. We must manage both owned and channel inventory effectively, particularly with respect to sales to distributors, which involves forecasting demand and pricing challenges. Distributors may increase orders during periods of product shortages, cancel orders if their inventory is too high or delay orders in anticipation of new products. Distributors also may adjust their orders in response to the supply of our products and the products of our competitors and seasonal fluctuations in end-user demand. Our reliance upon indirect distribution methods may reduce our visibility into demand and pricing trends and issues, and therefore make forecasting more difficult. If we have excess or obsolete inventory, we may have to reduce our prices and write down inventory. Moreover, our use of indirect distribution channels may limit our willingness or ability to adjust prices quickly and otherwise to respond to pricing changes by competitors. We also may have limited ability to estimate future product rebate redemptions in order to price our products effectively.
In order to be successful, we must attract, retain, train, motivate, develop and transition key employees, and failure to do so could seriously harm us.
In order to be successful, we must attract, retain, train, motivate, develop and transition qualified executives and other key employees, including those in managerial, technical, development, sales, marketing and IT support positions. In order to attract and retain executives and other key employees in a competitive marketplace, we must provide a competitive compensation package, including cash- and equity-based compensation. Certain equity-based incentive awards for certain executives contain conditions relating to our stock price performance and our long-term financial performance that make the future value of those awards uncertain. If the anticipated value of such equity-based incentive awards does not materialize, if our equity-based compensation otherwise ceases to be viewed as a valuable benefit, if our total compensation package is not viewed as being competitive, or if we do not obtain the stockholder approval needed to continue granting equity-based incentive awards in the amounts we believe are necessary, our ability to attract, retain, and motivate executives and key employees could be weakened.
Our failure to successfully hire executives and key employees or the loss of any executives and key employees could have a significant impact on our operations. Further, changes in our management team may be disruptive to our business, and any failure to successfully transition and assimilate key new hires or promoted employees could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
We operate in an intensely competitive industry, and competitive pressures could harm our business and financial performance.
We encounter aggressive competition from numerous and varied competitors in all areas of our business, and our competitors have targeted and are expected to continue targeting our key market segments. We compete primarily on the basis of our technology, innovation, performance, price, quality, reliability, brand, reputation, distribution, product range and ease of use, account relationships, customer training, service and support, and security of our offerings. If our products, services, support and cost structure do not enable us to compete successfully based on any of those criteria, our results of operations and business prospects could be harmed.
We have a large portfolio of products and services and must allocate our financial, personnel and other resources across all of our products and services while competing with companies that have smaller portfolios or specialize in one or more of our product or service lines. As a result, we may invest less in certain areas of our business than our competitors do, and our competitors may have greater financial, technical and marketing resources available to them compared to the resources allocated to our products and services that compete against their products and services. Industry consolidation may also affect competition by creating larger, more homogeneous and potentially stronger competitors in the markets in which we operate. Additionally, our competitors may affect our business by entering into exclusive arrangements with our existing or potential customers or suppliers.
Companies with whom we have vertical relationships in certain areas may be or become our competitors in other areas. In addition, companies with whom we have vertical relationships also may acquire or form relationships with our competitors, which could reduce their business with us. If we are unable to effectively manage these complicated relationships with vertical partners, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected.
We face aggressive price competition and may have to continue lowering the prices of many of our products and services to stay competitive, while simultaneously seeking to maintain or improve our revenue and gross margin. In addition,
competitors who have a greater presence in some of the lower-cost markets in which we compete, or who can obtain better pricing, more favorable contractual terms and conditions or more favorable allocations of products and components during periods of limited supply may be able to offer lower prices than we are able to offer. Our cash flows, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by these and other industry-wide pricing pressures.
Because our business model is based on providing innovative and high-quality products and services, we may spend a proportionately greater amount of our revenues on research and development than some of our competitors. If we cannot proportionately decrease our cost structure (apart from research and development expenses) on a timely basis in response to competitive price pressures, our gross margin and, therefore, our profitability could be adversely affected. In addition, if our pricing and other facets of our offerings are not sufficiently competitive, or if there is an adverse reaction to our product decisions, we may lose market share in certain areas, which could adversely affect our financial performance and business prospects.
Even if we are able to maintain or increase market share for a particular product, its financial performance could decline because the product is in a maturing industry or market segment or contains technology that is becoming obsolete. For example, our Storage business unit is experiencing the effects of a market transition towards software defined and public cloud, which has led to a decline in demand for our traditional storage products. Financial performance could decline due to increased competition from other types of products.
Due to the international nature of our business, political or economic changes and the laws and regulatory regimes applying to international transactions or other factors could harm our future revenue, costs and expenses, and financial condition.
Our business and financial performance depend significantly on worldwide economic conditions and the demand for technology hardware, software and services in the markets in which we compete. Economic weakness and uncertainty may adversely affect demand for our products, services and solutions, may result in increased expenses due to higher allowances for doubtful accounts and potential goodwill and asset impairment charges, and may make it more difficult for us to manage inventory and make accurate forecasts of revenue, gross margin, cash flows and expenses.
Economic weakness and uncertainty could cause our expenses to vary materially from our expectations. Any financial turmoil affecting the banking system and financial markets or any significant financial services institution failures could negatively impact our treasury operations, as the financial condition of such parties may deteriorate rapidly and without notice in times of market volatility and disruption. Poor financial performance of asset markets combined with lower interest rates and the adverse effects of fluctuating currency exchange rates could lead to higher pension and post-retirement benefit expenses. Interest and other expenses could vary materially from expectations depending on changes in interest rates, borrowing costs, currency exchange rates, and costs of hedging activities and the fair value of derivative instruments. Economic downturns also may lead to restructuring actions and associated expenses. Further, ongoing U.S. federal government spending priorities may limit demand for our products, services and solutions from organizations that receive funding from the U.S. government, and could negatively affect macroeconomic conditions in the United States, which could further reduce demand for our products, services and solutions.
Our business and financial performance also could be adversely affected by changes in U.S. trade policy, U.S. export controls and sanctions, and U.S. regulations concerning imports, as well as international laws and regulations relating to global trade. Current U.S. government trade policy includes the imposition of tariffs on certain foreign goods, including information and communication technology products. These measures have materially increased costs for certain goods imported into the United States. This in turn could require us to materially increase prices to our customers which may reduce demand, or, if we are unable to increase prices, result in lowering our margin on products sold. U.S. government trade policy has resulted in, and could result in more, U.S. trading partners adopting responsive trade policy making it more difficult or costly for us to export our products to those countries. Similarly, changes in regulations relating to exports could prevent us from exporting products to certain locations or customers entirely. In addition, changes in requirements relating to making foreign direct investments could increase our cost of doing business in certain jurisdictions, prevent us from shipping products to particular countries or markets, affect our ability to obtain favorable terms for components, increase our operating costs or lead to penalties or restrictions.
Sales outside the United States constituted approximately 68% of our net revenue in fiscal 2021. Our future business and financial performance could suffer due to a variety of international factors, including:
•ongoing instability or changes in a country's or region's economic or political conditions, including inflation, recession, interest rate fluctuations and actual or anticipated military or political conflicts, including uncertainties and instability in economic and market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
•inflationary pressures, such as those the market is currently experiencing, which may increase costs for materials, supplies, and services;
•network security, privacy and data sovereignty concerns, which could make foreign customers reluctant to purchase products and services from U.S.-based technology companies;
•longer collection cycles and financial instability among customers;
•local labor conditions and regulations, including local labor issues faced by specific suppliers and original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs"), or changes to immigration and labor law policies which may adversely impact our access to technical and professional talent;
•managing our geographically dispersed workforce;
•differing technology standards or customer requirements;
•difficulties associated with repatriating earnings in restricted countries, and changes in tax laws; and
•fluctuations in freight costs, limitations on shipping and receiving capacity, and other disruptions in the transportation and shipping infrastructure at important geographic points of exit and entry for our products and shipments.
The factors described above also could disrupt our product and component manufacturing and key suppliers located outside of the United States. For example, we rely on suppliers in Asia for product assembly and manufacture.
We implement policies, procedures and training designed to facilitate compliance with anti-corruption laws around the world, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act. But in many foreign countries, particularly in those with developing economies, people may engage in business practices prohibited by anti-corruption laws. Our employees and third parties we work with may take actions in violation of our policies, and those actions could have an adverse effect on our business and reputation.
We are exposed to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates.
Currencies other than the U.S. dollar, including the euro, the British pound, Chinese yuan (renminbi) and the Japanese yen, can have an impact on our results as expressed in U.S. dollars. Currency volatility contributes to variations in our sales of products and services in impacted jurisdictions. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, most notably the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the euro, could adversely affect our revenue growth in future periods. In addition, currency variations can adversely affect margins on sales of our products in countries outside of the United States and margins on sales of products that include components obtained from suppliers located outside of the United States.
From time to time, we may use forward contracts and options designated as cash flow hedges to protect against foreign currency exchange rate risks. The effectiveness of our hedges depends on our ability to accurately forecast future cash flows, which is particularly difficult during periods of uncertain demand for our products and services and highly volatile exchange rates. We may incur significant losses from our hedging activities due to factors such as demand volatility and currency variations. In addition, certain or all of our hedging activities may be ineffective, may expire and not be renewed or may not offset any or more than a portion of the adverse financial impact resulting from currency variations. Losses associated with hedging activities also may impact our revenue and to a lesser extent our cost of sales and financial condition.
Intellectual Property Risks
Our financial performance may suffer if we cannot continue to develop, license or enforce the intellectual property rights on which our businesses depend.
We rely upon patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property laws in the United States, similar laws in other countries, and agreements with our employees, customers, suppliers and other parties, to establish and maintain intellectual property rights in the products and services we sell, provide or otherwise use in our operations. However, any of our intellectual property rights could be challenged, invalidated, infringed or circumvented, or such intellectual property rights may not be sufficient to permit us to take advantage of current market trends or to otherwise provide competitive advantages. Further, the laws of certain countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Therefore, in certain jurisdictions we may be unable to protect our proprietary technology adequately against unauthorized third-party copying or use; this, too, could adversely affect our ability to sell products or services and our competitive position.
Our products and services depend in part on intellectual property and technology licensed from third parties.
Much of our business and many of our products rely on key technologies developed or licensed by third parties. For example, many of our software offerings are developed using software components or other intellectual property licensed from third parties, including through both proprietary and open source licenses. These third-party software components may become
obsolete, defective or incompatible with future versions of our products, or our relationship with the third party may deteriorate, or our agreements with the third party may expire or be terminated. We may face legal or business disputes with licensors that may threaten or lead to the disruption of inbound licensing relationships. In order to remain in compliance with the terms of our licenses, we must carefully monitor and manage our use of third-party software components, including both proprietary and open source license terms that may require the licensing or public disclosure of our intellectual property without compensation or on undesirable terms. Additionally, some of these licenses may not be available to us in the future on terms that are acceptable or that allow our product offerings to remain competitive. Our inability to obtain licenses or rights on favorable terms could have a material effect on our business, including our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, it is possible that as a consequence of a merger or acquisition, third parties may obtain licenses to some of our intellectual property rights or our business may be subject to certain restrictions that were not in place prior to such transaction. Because the availability and cost of licenses from third parties depends upon the willingness of third parties to deal with us on the terms we request, there is a risk that third parties who license to our competitors will either refuse to license us at all, or refuse to license us on terms equally favorable to those granted to our competitors. Consequently, we may lose a competitive advantage with respect to these intellectual property rights or we may be required to enter into costly arrangements in order to terminate or limit these rights.
Third-party claims of intellectual property infringement, including patent infringement, are commonplace in the IT industry and successful third-party claims may limit or disrupt our ability to sell our products and services.
Third parties may claim that we or customers indemnified by us are infringing upon their intellectual property rights. Patent assertion entities frequently purchase intellectual property assets for the purpose of extracting infringement settlements. If we cannot license, or replace, allegedly infringed intellectual property on reasonable terms, our operations could be adversely affected. Even if we believe that intellectual property claims are without merit, they can be time-consuming and costly to defend against and may divert management's attention and resources away from our business. Claims of intellectual property infringement also might require us to redesign affected products, discontinue certain product offerings, enter into costly settlement or license agreements, pay costly damage awards or face a temporary or permanent injunction prohibiting us from importing, marketing or selling certain of our products. Even if we have an agreement to indemnify us against such costs, the indemnifying party may be unable or unwilling to uphold its contractual obligations to us.
Failure to maintain a satisfactory credit rating could adversely affect our liquidity, capital position, borrowing costs and access to capital markets.
We currently maintain investment grade credit ratings with Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings Services. Despite these investment grade credit ratings, any future downgrades could increase the cost of borrowing under any indebtedness we may incur, reduce market capacity for our commercial paper or require the posting of additional collateral under our derivative contracts. Additionally, increased borrowing costs, including those arising from a credit rating downgrade, can potentially reduce the competitiveness of our financing business. There can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our credit ratings, and any additional actual or anticipated changes or downgrades in our credit ratings, including any announcement that our ratings are under review for a downgrade, may have a negative impact on our liquidity, capital position and access to capital markets.
Our debt obligations may adversely affect our business and our ability to meet our obligations and pay dividends.
In addition to our current total carrying debt, we may also incur additional indebtedness in the future. This collective amount of debt could have important adverse consequences to us and our investors, including:
•requiring a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to make principal and interest payments;
•making it more difficult to satisfy other obligations;
•increasing the risk of a future credit ratings downgrade of our debt, which could increase future debt costs and limit the future availability of debt financing;
•increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
•reducing the cash flows available to fund capital expenditures and other corporate purposes and to grow our business;
•limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry; and
•limiting our ability to borrow additional funds as needed or take advantage of business opportunities as they arise, pay cash dividends or repurchase our common stock.
To the extent that we incur additional indebtedness, the risks described above could increase. In addition, our actual cash requirements in the future may be greater than expected. Our cash flow from operations may not be sufficient to service our
outstanding debt or to repay our outstanding debt as it becomes due, and we may not be able to borrow money, sell assets or otherwise raise funds on acceptable terms, or at all, to service or refinance our debt.
The revenue and profitability of our operations have historically varied, which makes our future financial results less predictable.
Our revenue, gross margin and profit vary among our diverse products and services, customer groups and geographic markets and therefore will likely be different in future periods than our historical results. Our revenue depends on the overall demand for our products and services. Delays or reductions in IT spending by our customers or potential customers could have a material adverse effect on demand for our products and services, which could result in a significant decline in revenue. In addition, revenue declines in some of our businesses may affect revenue in our other businesses as we may lose cross-selling opportunities. Overall gross margins and profitability in any given period are dependent partially on the product, service, customer and geographic mix reflected in that period's net revenue. Competition, lawsuits, investigations, increases in component and manufacturing costs that we are unable to pass on to our customers, component supply disruptions and other risks affecting our businesses may have a significant impact on our overall gross margin and profitability. Variations in fixed cost structure and gross margins across business units and product portfolios may lead to significant operating profit volatility on a quarterly or annual basis. In addition, newer geographic market opportunities may be relatively less profitable due to our investments associated with entering those markets and local pricing pressures, and we may have difficulty establishing and maintaining the operating infrastructure necessary to support the high growth rate associated with some of those markets. Market trends, industry shifts, competitive pressures, commoditization of products, increased component or shipping costs, regulatory impacts and other factors may result in reductions in revenue or pressure on gross margins of certain segments in a given period, which may lead to adjustments to our operations. Moreover, our efforts to address the challenges facing our business could increase the level of variability in our financial results because the rate at which we are able to realize the benefits from those efforts may vary from period to period.
Our uneven sales cycle makes planning and inventory management difficult and future financial results less predictable.
In some of our businesses, our quarterly sales have periodically reflected a pattern in which a disproportionate percentage of each quarter's total sales occurs towards the end of the quarter. This uneven sales pattern makes predicting revenue, earnings, cash flow from operations and working capital for each financial period difficult, increases the risk of unanticipated variations in our quarterly results and financial condition and places pressure on our inventory management and logistics systems. If predicted demand is substantially greater than orders, there may be excess inventory. Alternatively, if orders substantially exceed predicted demand, we may not be able to fulfill all of the orders received in each quarter and such orders may be canceled. Depending on when they occur in a quarter, developments such as a systems failure, component pricing movements, component shortages or global logistics disruptions, could adversely impact our inventory levels and results of operations in a manner that is disproportionate to the number of days in the quarter affected. We experience some seasonal trends in the sale of our products that also may produce variations in our quarterly results and financial condition. Many of the factors that create and affect seasonal trends are beyond our control.
We make estimates and assumptions in connection with the preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements and any changes to those estimates and assumptions could adversely affect our results of operations.
In connection with the preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements, we use certain estimates and assumptions based on historical experience and other factors. Our most critical accounting estimates are described in the section entitled "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations." In addition, as discussed in Note 1, "Overview and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies—Use of Estimates" and Note 17, "Litigation and Contingencies," to our Consolidated Financial Statements, we make certain estimates, including decisions related to provisions for legal proceedings and other contingencies. While we believe that these estimates and assumptions are reasonable under the circumstances, they are subject to significant uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. Should any of these estimates and assumptions change or prove to have been incorrect, it could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our business is subject to various federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations that could result in costs or other sanctions that adversely affect our business and results of operations.
We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations such as those concerning environmental protection. For example, we face increasing complexity related to product design, the use of regulated, hazardous and scarce materials, the associated energy consumption and efficiency related to the use of products, the transportation and shipping of products, climate change regulations, and the reuse, recycling and/or disposal of products and their components at end-of-use or useful life as we adjust to new and future requirements relating to our transition to a more circular economy. A significant portion of our hardware revenues come from international sales. Any changes to current environmental legal requirements, such
as the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive or China's regulation on Management Methods for Controlling Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products, among others, may increase our cost of doing business internationally and impact our hardware revenues from the EU, China and/or other countries proposing or adopting similar environmental legal requirements. In addition, other ESG-related laws, regulations, treaties, and similar initiatives and programs are being proposed, adopted and implemented throughout the world (including, but not limited to, the European Commission’s proposal on Sustainable Corporate Governance). If we were to violate or become liable under environmental or certain ESG-related laws or if our products become non-compliant with such laws or market access requirements, our customers may refuse to purchase our products, and we could incur costs or face other sanctions, such as restrictions on our products entering certain jurisdictions, fines, and/or civil or criminal sanctions. Environmental regulations may also impact the availability and cost of energy or emissions related to energy consumption which may increase our cost of manufacturing and/or the cost of powering and cooling owned IT infrastructures.
In addition, our business is subject to an ever-growing number of laws addressing privacy and information security. In particular, we face an increasingly complex regulatory environment as we adjust to new and future requirements relating to the security of our offerings. If we were to violate or become liable under laws or regulations associated with privacy or security, we could incur substantial costs or face other sanctions. Our potential exposure includes regulatory fines and civil or criminal sanctions third-party claims and reputational damage.
Failure to comply with government contracting regulations could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Our contracts with federal, state, provincial and local governmental customers are subject to various government procurement laws and regulations, required contract provisions, and other requirements relating to contract formation, administration, and performance. Any violation of government contracting laws and regulations or contract terms could result in the imposition of various civil and criminal penalties, which may include termination of contracts, forfeiture of profits, suspension of payments and fines, treble damages, and suspension from future government contracting. Such failures could also cause reputational damage to our business. In addition, we will continue to be subject to qui tam litigation brought by private individuals on behalf of the government relating to our government contracts. If we are suspended or disbarred from government work or if our ability to compete for new government contracts is adversely affected, our financial performance could suffer.
Unanticipated changes in our tax provisions, the adoption of new tax legislation or exposure to additional tax liabilities could affect our financial performance.
We are subject to income and other taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Our tax liabilities are affected by the amounts we charge in intercompany transactions for inventory, services, licenses, funding and other items. We are subject to ongoing tax audits in various jurisdictions. Tax authorities may disagree with our intercompany charges, cross-jurisdictional transfer pricing or other matters, and may assess additional taxes as a result. There can be no assurance that we will accurately predict the outcomes of these audits, and the amounts ultimately paid upon resolution of audits could be materially different from the amounts previously included in our income tax expense and therefore could have a material impact on our tax provision, net income and cash flows. In addition, our effective tax rate in the future could be adversely affected by changes to our operating structure, changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, changes in tax laws and the discovery of new information in the course of our tax return preparation process. The carrying value of our deferred tax assets is dependent on our ability to generate future taxable income.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international association of 34 countries including the United States, has proposed changes to numerous long-standing tax principles. These proposals, if finalized and adopted by the associated countries, would impose a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, could increase tax complexity and uncertainty, and may adversely affect our provision for income taxes.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation consistent with the framework President Biden announced previously, which includes a number of changes that would impact the U.S. federal taxation of corporations. Among other items, the legislation includes provisions that would raise the tax rate on foreign income of U.S. corporations, apply the Global Intangible Low-Tax Income regime on a country-by-country basis, impose a new alternative minimum tax on book income, and impose a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks. The U.S. Senate has not voted on or agreed to the legislation, but if this happens and President Biden signs it into law, it could materially impact our tax provision, cash tax liability and effective tax rate.
During fiscal 2019, we executed a Termination and Mutual Release Agreement which terminated our Tax Matters Agreement with HP Inc. Because we now have limited indemnity rights from HP Inc., we potentially bear more economic risk for certain potential unfavorable tax assessments.
Risks Related to Prior Separations
The stock distribution in either or both of the completed separations of our former Enterprise Services business and our former Software segment could result in significant tax liability, and DXC or Micro Focus (as applicable) may in certain cases be obligated to indemnify us for any such tax liability imposed on us.
The completed separations of our former Enterprise Services business and our Software Segment were conditioned upon the receipt of an opinion from outside counsel regarding the qualification of (i) the relevant distribution and related transactions as a "reorganization" within the meaning of Sections 368(a), 361 and 355 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the "Code"); and (ii) the relevant merger as a "reorganization" within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code. While the Software Separation generally qualified for tax-free treatment for us, Seattle SpinCo and Micro Focus, the acquisition of Seattle SpinCo by Micro Focus resulted in the recognition of gain (but not loss) for U.S. persons who received Micro Focus American Depositary Shares in the Software Separation.
Each opinion of outside counsel was based upon and relied on, among other things, certain facts and assumptions, as well as certain representations, statements and undertakings of us, Everett SpinCo and CSC, or us, Seattle SpinCo and Micro Focus, as applicable. If any of these representations, statements or undertakings are, or become, inaccurate or incomplete, or if any party breaches any of its covenants in the relevant separation documents, the relevant opinion of counsel may be invalid and the conclusions reached therein could be jeopardized. Notwithstanding the opinions of counsel, the Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") could determine that either or both of the distributions should be treated as a taxable transaction if it determines that any of the facts, assumptions, representations, statements or undertakings upon which the relevant opinion of counsel was based are false or have been violated, or if it disagrees with the conclusions in the opinion of counsel. An opinion of counsel is not binding on the IRS and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not assert a contrary position.
If the distribution of Everett SpinCo or Seattle SpinCo, as applicable, together with certain related transactions, failed to qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code, in general, we would recognize taxable gain as if we had sold the stock of Everett SpinCo or Seattle SpinCo, as applicable, in a taxable sale for its fair market value, and our stockholders who receive Everett SpinCo shares or Seattle SpinCo shares in the relevant distribution would be subject to tax as if they had received a taxable distribution equal to the fair market value of such shares.
We obtained private letter rulings from the IRS regarding certain U.S. federal income tax matters relating to the separation of our Enterprise Services business and Software Segment. Those rulings concluded that certain transactions in those separations are generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The conclusions of the IRS private letter rulings were based, among other things, on various factual assumptions we have authorized and representations we have made to the IRS. If any of these assumptions or representations are, or become, inaccurate or incomplete, the validity of the IRS private letter rulings may be affected. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we incurred certain tax costs in connection with the completed separation of our former Enterprise Services business and Software Segment, including non-U.S. tax expenses resulting from the completed separation of our former Enterprise Services business and Software Segment in multiple non-U.S. jurisdictions that do not legally provide for tax-free separations, which may be material. If the completed separation of our former Enterprise Services business or Software Segment (including certain internal transactions undertaken in anticipation of those separations) are determined to be taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we, our stockholders that are subject to U.S. federal income tax and/or DXC and/or Micro Focus could incur significant U.S. federal income tax liabilities.
Under the tax matters agreements entered into by us with Everett SpinCo and CSC, and with Seattle SpinCo and Micro Focus, Everett SpinCo and Seattle SpinCo generally would be required to indemnify us for any taxes resulting from the relevant separation (and any related costs and other damages) to the extent such amounts resulted from (i) certain actions taken by, or acquisitions of capital stock of, Everett SpinCo or Seattle SpinCo, as applicable (excluding actions required by the documents governing the relevant separation), or (ii) any breach of certain representations and covenants made by Everett SpinCo or Seattle SpinCo, as applicable. Any such indemnity obligations could be material.
We continue to face a number of risks related to the Separation from our former Parent, including those associated with ongoing indemnification obligations, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, and shared use of certain intellectual property rights, which could in the future adversely impact our reputation.
In connection with the Separation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. entered into several agreements that determine the allocation of assets and liabilities between the companies following the Separation and include any necessary indemnifications related to liabilities and obligations. In these agreements, HP Inc. agreed to indemnify us for certain liabilities, and we agreed to indemnify HP Inc. for certain liabilities, including cross-indemnities that are designed and intended to place financial responsibility for the obligations and liabilities of our business with us, and financial responsibility for the obligations and liabilities of HP Inc.'s business with HP Inc. We may be obligated to fully indemnify HP Inc. for certain liabilities under the
Separation agreements or HP Inc. may not be able to fully cover their indemnification obligations to us under the same Separation agreements. Each of these risks could negatively affect our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, the terms of the Separation also include licenses and other arrangements to provide for certain ongoing use of intellectual property in the operations of both businesses. For example, through a joint brand holding structure, both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. retain the ability to make ongoing use of certain variations of the legacy Hewlett-Packard and HP branding, respectively. As a result of this continuing shared use of the legacy branding there is a risk that conduct or events adversely affecting the reputation of HP Inc. could also adversely affect the reputation of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Our stock price has fluctuated and may continue to fluctuate, which may make future prices of our stock difficult to predict.
Investors should not rely on recent or historical trends to predict future stock prices, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. Our stock price, like that of other technology companies, can be volatile and can be affected by, among other things, speculation, coverage or sentiment in the media or the investment community; the announcement of new, planned or contemplated products, services, technological innovations, acquisitions, divestitures or other significant transactions by us or our competitors; our quarterly financial results and comparisons to estimates by the investment community or financial outlook provided by us; the financial results and business strategies of our competitors; inflation; developments relating to pending investigations, claims and disputes; or the timing and amount of our share repurchases. General or industry specific market conditions or stock market performance or domestic or international macroeconomic and geopolitical factors unrelated to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's performance also may affect the price of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's stock. Volatility in the price of our securities could result in the filing of securities class action litigation matters, which could result in substantial costs and the diversion of management time and resources.
ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
ITEM 2. Properties.
As of October 31, 2021, we owned or leased approximately 15 million square feet of space worldwide. A summary of the Company's operationally utilized space is provided below.
| ||As of October 31, 2021|
| ||(Square feet in millions)|
|Administration and support||3 ||6 ||9 |
|(Percentage)||33 ||%||67 ||%||100 ||%|
|Core data centers, manufacturing plants, research and development facilities, and warehouse operations||1 ||1 ||2 |
|(Percentage)||50 ||%||50 ||%||100 ||%|
| Total||4 ||7 ||11 |
|(Percentage)||36 ||%||64 ||%||100 ||%|
We believe that our existing properties are in good condition and are suitable for the conduct of our business. Substantially all of our properties are utilized in whole or in part by our Compute, HPC & AI, Storage, and Intelligent Edge segments.
In connection with the transformation programs, we continue to anticipate changes in our real estate portfolio over the next two years. These changes may include reductions in overall space.
Principal Executive Offices
Our principal executive offices, including our global headquarters, are located at 11445 Compaq Center West Drive, Houston, Texas, 77070, United States of America.
Product Development, Services and Manufacturing
The locations of our major product development, services, manufacturing, and Hewlett Packard Labs facilities are as follows:
United States—Alpharetta, Andover, Chippewa Falls, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Houston, Milpitas, Roseville, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale
Europe, Middle East, Africa
ITEM 3. Legal Proceedings.
Information with respect to this item may be found in Note 17, "Litigation and Contingencies", to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II, which is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
ITEM 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
The common stock of Hewlett Packard Enterprise is listed on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") with the ticker symbol "HPE".
According to the records of our transfer agent, there were 51,818 stockholders of record of Hewlett Packard Enterprise common stock as of November 30, 2021.
During fiscal 2021, we paid a quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share to our shareholders. On November 30, 2021 we declared a quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share, payable on January 7, 2022, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on December 10, 2021.
The payment of any dividends in the future, and the timing and amount thereof, is within the discretion of our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors' decisions regarding the payment of dividends will depend on many factors, such as our financial condition, earnings, capital requirements, debt service obligations, restrictive covenants in our debt, industry practice, legal requirements, regulatory constraints, and other factors that our Board of Directors deems relevant. Our ability to pay dividends will depend on our ongoing ability to generate cash from operations and on our access to the capital markets. We cannot guarantee that we will continue to pay a dividend in any future period.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
|Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2021||Total Number of Shares Purchased and Settled||Average Price Paid per Share||Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs||Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased under the Plans or Programs|
|In thousands, except per share amounts|
|Month 1 (August 2021)||— ||$||— ||— ||$||2,110,281 |
|Month 2 (September 2021)||6,638 ||$||13.92 ||6,638 ||$||2,017,871 |
|Month 3 (October 2021)||8,094 ||$||14.96 ||8,094 ||$||1,896,829 |
|Total||14,732 ||$||14.49 ||14,732 |
On October 13, 2015, the Company's Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program with a $3.0 billion authorization, which was refreshed with additional share repurchase authorizations of $3.0 billion, $5.0 billion and $2.5 billion on May 24, 2016, October 16, 2017 and February 21, 2018, respectively. This program, which does not have a specific expiration date, authorizes repurchases in the open market or in private transactions. The Company may choose to repurchase shares when sufficient liquidity exists and the shares are trading at a discount relative to estimated intrinsic value.
On April 6, 2020, the Company announced that it suspended purchases under its share repurchase program in response to the global economic uncertainty that resulted from the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus. On September 2, 2021, the Company announced that it reinstated the share repurchase program.
During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, the Company repurchased and settled 14.7 million shares of the Company's common stock. The Company had unsettled open market repurchases of 0.8 million shares as of October 31, 2021. Shares repurchased during fiscal 2021 were recorded as a $225 million reduction to stockholders' equity. As of October 31, 2021, the Company had a remaining authorization of $1.9 billion for future share repurchases.
Stock Performance Graph and Cumulative Total Return
The graph below shows the cumulative total stockholder return, the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Information Technology Index. This graph covers the period from October 31, 2016 through October 31, 2021. This graph assumes the investment of $100 in the stock or the index on October 31, 2016 (and the reinvestment of dividends thereafter). On April 1, 2017, we
completed the separation and merger of our Enterprise Services business with DXC. HPE stockholders received 0.085904 shares of common stock in the new company for every one share of HPE common stock held at the close of business on the record date. On September 1, 2017, we completed the separation and merger of our Software business segment with Micro Focus. HPE stockholders received 0.13732611 American Depository Shares ("Micro Focus ADSs") in the new company, each of which represents one ordinary share of Micro Focus, for every one share of HPE common stock held at the close of business on the record date. The effect of the Everett and Seattle Transactions are reflected in the cumulative total return as reinvested dividends. The comparisons in the graph below are based on historical data and are not indicative of, or intended to forecast, future performance of our common stock.
|Hewlett Packard Enterprise||$||100.00 ||$||108.15 ||$||121.25 ||$||134.47 ||$||73.79 ||$||129.44 |
|S&P 500 Index||$||100.00 ||$||123.62 ||$||132.69 ||$||151.69 ||$||166.40 ||$||237.77 |
|S&P Information Technology Index||$||100.00 ||$||138.96 ||$||156.05 ||$||191.30 ||$||257.25 ||$||377.96 |
ITEM 6. [Reserved]
ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
For purposes of this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ("MD&A") section, we use the terms "Hewlett Packard Enterprise", "HPE", "the Company", "we", "us", and "our" to refer to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. References in the MD&A section to "former Parent" refer to HP Inc.
This section of this Form 10-K generally discusses fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020 items and year-to-year comparisons between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020. Discussions of fiscal 2019 items and year-to-year comparisons between fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2019 that are not included in this Form 10-K can be found in "Part II, Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, as filed with the SEC on December 10, 2020, which is available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.
We intend the discussion of our financial condition and results of operations that follows to provide information that will assist the reader in understanding our Consolidated Financial Statements, the changes in certain key items in those financial statements from year to year, and the primary factors that accounted for those changes, as well as how certain accounting principles, policies and estimates affect our Consolidated Financial Statements. This discussion should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes that appear in Part II, Item 8 of this document.
This MD&A is organized as follows:
•Trends and Uncertainties. A discussion of material events and uncertainties known to management such as COVID-19, our response to the challenges and trends, and our pivot to as-a-service strategy.
•Executive Overview. A discussion of our business and summary analysis of financial and other highlights, including non-GAAP financial measures, affecting the Company in order to provide context to the remainder of the MD&A.
•Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates. A discussion of accounting policies and estimates that we believe are important to understanding the assumptions and judgments incorporated in our reported financial results.
•Results of Operations. A discussion of the results of operations at the consolidated level is followed by a discussion of the results of operations at the segment level.
•Liquidity and Capital Resources. An analysis of changes in our cash flows and a discussion of our financial condition and liquidity.
•Contractual Cash and Other Obligations. An overview of contractual obligations, retirement and post-retirement benefit plan funding, restructuring plans, uncertain tax positions and off-balance sheet arrangements.
•GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliation. Each non-GAAP measure has been reconciled to the most directly comparable GAAP measure therein. This section also includes a discussion on the usefulness of non-GAAP financial measures, and material limitations associated with the use of non-GAAP financial measures.
TRENDS AND UNCERTAINTIES
While great progress has been made in the fight against COVID-19, it remains a global challenge and continues to have an impact on our operations. For a further discussion of the pandemic and the risks, uncertainties and actions taken in response to it, see the discussion in the section titled "COVID-19 Pandemic Update", "Manufacturing and Materials" and "Backlog" in Part I, Item 1, and risks identified in the section entitled " Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A.
The Company also believes that the pandemic has forced fundamental changes in businesses and communities that are aligned with the Company's edge-to-cloud platform delivered as-a-service strategy. Navigating through the pandemic and planning for a post-COVID world have increased customers' needs for as-a-service offerings, secure connectivity, remote work capabilities and analytics to unlock insights from data. Our solutions are aligned to these needs, and we see opportunity to help our customers drive digital transformations as they continue to adapt to operate in a new world.
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Continued)
Other Trends and Uncertainties
We are in the process of addressing many challenges facing our business. One set of challenges include dynamic and accelerating market trends, such as the market shift of workloads to cloud-related IT infrastructure business models, emergence of software-defined architectures and converged infrastructure functionality and growth in IT consumption models. Certain of our legacy hardware server and storage businesses face challenges as customers migrate to cloud-based offerings and reduce their purchases of hardware products. Therefore, the demand environment for traditional server and storage products is challenging and lower traditional compute and storage unit volume is impacting support attach opportunities within the associated services organization.
Another set of challenges relates to changes in the competitive landscape. Our major competitors are expanding their product and service offerings with integrated products and solutions, our business-specific competitors are exerting increased competitive pressure in targeted areas and are entering new markets, our emerging competitors are introducing new technologies and business models, and our alliance partners in some businesses are increasingly becoming our competitors.
A third set of challenges relates to business model changes and our go-to-market execution. We intend to provide our customers with a choice between traditional consumption models or subscription-based, pay-per-use and as-a-service offerings across our entire portfolio of HPE products and services.
Additionally, the global pandemic has accelerated several trends relevant to the Company. First, the exponential increase of data at the edge driven by the proliferation of devices. Second is the need for a cloud experience everywhere to manage the growth of data at the edge. Third, data growth is creating new opportunities with the need to quickly extract value from the captured data. Enterprises have embraced multi-cloud strategies, as they recognize the need for different cloud environments for different types of data and workloads. Increasingly, customers want to digitally transform, while preserving capital and eliminating operating expense, by paying only for the IT they use.
In response to the aforementioned challenges and trends, we are accelerating growth in our areas of strategic focus, which include the Intelligent Edge and High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence ("HPC & AI") businesses while at the same time, we are strengthening our core Compute and Storage businesses, doubling down in key areas of growth, and accelerating our as-a-service pivot to become the edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service choice for our customers and partners.
At the same time our transformation programs have improved our cost structure, channel execution and alignment of our sales coverage with our strategic goals. We continue to pursue new product innovations that build on our existing capabilities in areas such as cloud and data center computing, software-defined networking, converged storage, high-performance compute, and wireless networking, which will keep us aligned with market demand, industry trends and the needs of our customers and partners. In addition, we continue to improve our operations, with a particular focus on enhancing our end-to-end processes and efficiencies.
Examples of accelerating and strengthening growth in our segments include the following:
•Intelligent Edge - we are seeing continued traction from our investment at the edge including rich software capabilities in security and edge services from HPE Aruba. The Aruba Edge Services Platform ("ESP") with Aruba’s built-in identity-based network security is unique in the market and provides the ideal foundation for building a zero trust and secure access service edge. Our comprehensive portfolio and Artificial Intelligence-powered cloud-driven platforms, such as Aruba ESP and Aruba Central, will continue to accelerate WAN and security deployments, advance cloud and IoT adoption and fast-track digital transformation. We are on track to grow high-margin recurring revenue with technology that accelerates our ability to capture the high-growth WAN market opportunity. Additionally, we introduced a new class of cloud-native and fully automated data center switching products specifically designed for edge cloud data centers which represents a significant market opportunity for HPE.
•HPC & AI - enterprises are running analytics on increasingly large data sets and are adopting new techniques, such as AI, deep learning, and machine learning. They now will have access to HPC technologies, including exascale supercomputing systems, that were historically prohibitive due to their cost and complexity. HPE GreenLake cloud services is a flexible as-a-service platform that customers can run on-premises or in a colocation facility.
•Compute - our strategy to grow profitability and pivot to more as-a-service solutions is paying off. Compute includes three new HPE ProLiant Solutions targeting 5G deployments for telecommunication companies and virtual desktop infrastructure. We launched our new HPE 5G Open radio access network ("RAN") solution stack for telecommunications companies to accelerate the commercial adoption of Open RAN in 5G network deployments. This
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Continued)
is a transformative technology, featuring the industry’s first server-optimized for 5G Open RAN workloads with our HPE ProLiant Servers.
•Storage - we continue to see strength in key software defined solutions, which drive our ability to attach rich services and provide data insights with our portfolio offerings. We introduced a new portfolio of cloud native data infrastructure called HPE Alletra which delivers workload optimized systems and provides customers with architectural flexibility to run any application without compromise, from edge-to-cloud with our operational experience. These innovations are propelling our storage business into a cloud-native software-defined data services business through organic innovation and targeted acquisitions.
Annualized Revenue Run-rate ("ARR")
Our pivot to as-a-service continues its strong momentum with the addition of HPE GreenLake Cloud Services. Our mix of ARR is becoming more software-rich as we build our GreenLake Cloud platform, which is improving our margin profile. On the innovation front, we announced a transformative new data storage services platform that brings our cloud operations model to wherever data lives by unifying data operations. The platform will be available through HPE GreenLake Central and include a new data services cloud console and a suite of software subscription services that simplifies and automates global infrastructure at scale. We will continue to invest aggressively in HPE GreenLake Cloud Services to provide a true cloud experience and operating model, whether at the edge, on-premises or across multiple clouds.
ARR represents the annualized revenue of all net GreenLake services revenue, related financial services revenue (which includes rental income from operating leases and interest income from capital leases) and software-as-a-service, subscription, and other as-a-service offerings, recognized during a quarter and multiplied by four. We use ARR as a performance metric. ARR should be viewed independently of net revenue, and is not intended to be combined with it.
The following presents our ARR as of October 31, 2021 and 2020:
|For the fiscal years ended October 31,|
|ARR||$||796 ||$||585 |
|year-over-year growth rate||36 ||%||N/A|
The 36% increase in ARR in fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior-year period was due to growth in HPE GreenLake services and related financial services due to an expanding customer installed base. Additionally, ARR increased due to higher Intelligent Edge as-a-service activity, including Silver Peak, and growth in Storage as-a-service driven by Zerto, a recent acquisition.
The following Executive Overview, Results of Operations and Liquidity discussions and analysis compare fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2020, unless otherwise noted. The Capital Resources and Contractual Cash and Other Obligations discussions present information as of October 31, 2021, unless otherwise noted.
Net revenue of $27.8 billion represented an increase of 3.0% (increased 1.0% on a constant currency basis) due to a variety of factors including improvements in the overall demand environment from the prior-year period resulting in revenue growth across most of our segments, a strong order backlog at the beginning of the period, incremental revenue from the Silver Peak acquisition and favorable currency fluctuations. The revenue increase was moderated by a decrease in unit shipments due largely to industry-wide material constraints and a related challenging supply chain environment which resulted in significantly higher levels of order backlog across our hardware segments at the end of the current period. The gross profit margin of 33.7% represented an increase of 2.3 percentage points due to a combination of factors led by strong pricing discipline, cost savings from our transformation programs and a continued mix shift toward higher-margin software-rich offerings. The operating profit margin of 4.1% represented an increase of 5.3 percentage points due primarily to our strong operational execution in fiscal 2021 and the absence of a goodwill impairment charge which we recognized in fiscal 2020. We generated $5.9 billion of cash flow from operations (including $2.2 billion of after-tax cash from Oracle Corporation's satisfaction of a judgment in the Itanium breach of contract litigation) due to higher net earnings and improved working capital management. Free cash flow excluding the litigation judgment was $1.6 billion.
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Continued)
The following table summarizes our consolidated GAAP financial results:
|For the fiscal years ended October 31,|
|In millions, except per share amounts|
|Net revenue||27,784 ||26,982 ||3.0%|
|Gross profit||$||9,376 ||$||8,469 ||10.7%|
|Gross profit margin||33.7 ||%||31.4 ||%||2.3pts|
|Earnings (loss) from operations||$||1,132 ||$||(329)||NM|
|Operating profit margin||4.1 ||%||(1.2)||%||5.3pts|
|Net earnings (loss)||$||3,427 ||$||(322)||NM|
|Diluted net earnings (loss) per share||$||2.58 ||$||(0.25)||$||2.83 |
|Cash flow from operations||$||5,871 ||$||2,240 ||162.1 ||%|
NM - Not meaningful
The following table summarizes our consolidated non-GAAP financial results:
|For the fiscal years ended October 31,|
|In millions, except per share amounts|
|Net revenue adjusted for currency ||$||27,247 ||$||26,982 ||1.0%|
|Non-GAAP gross profit||$||9,424 ||$||8,543 ||10.3%|
|Non-GAAP gross profit margin||33.9 ||%||31.7 ||%||2.2pts|
|Non-GAAP earnings from operations||$||2,848 ||$||2,282 ||24.8%|
|Non-GAAP operating profit margin||10.3 ||%||8.5 ||%||1.8pts|
|Non-GAAP net earnings||$||2,602 ||$||2,005 ||29.8%|
|Non-GAAP diluted net earnings per share||$||1.96 ||$||1.54 ||$0.42|
|Free cash flow||$||1,551 ||$||560 ||$991|
Each non-GAAP measure has been reconciled to the most directly comparable GAAP measure herein. Please refer to the section "GAAP to Non-GAAP Reconciliations" included in this MD&A for these reconciliations, usefulness of non-GAAP financial measures, and material limitations associated with the use of non-GAAP financial measures.
Returning capital to our shareholders remains an important part of our capital allocation framework which consists of capital returns to shareholders and strategic investments. We believe our existing balance of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, along with commercial paper and other short-term liquidity arrangements, are sufficient to satisfy our working capital needs, capital asset purchases, dividends, debt repayments and other liquidity requirements associated with our existing operations. As of October 31, 2021, our cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash were $4.3 billion, compared to the October 31, 2020 balance of $4.6 billion, representing a decrease of $0.3 billion. We maintain a $4.75 billion five year senior unsecured committed credit facility that was entered into in August 2019. As of October 31, 2021 no borrowings were outstanding under this credit facility.
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Continued)
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
Our Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), which requires us to make estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, net revenue and expenses, and the disclosure of contingent liabilities. A summary of significant accounting policies and a summary of recent accounting pronouncements applicable to our Consolidated Financial Statements are included in Note 1, "Overview and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies", to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II, which is incorporated herein by reference. An accounting policy is deemed to be critical if the nature of the estimate or assumption it incorporates is subject to material level of judgment related to matters that are highly uncertain and changes in those estimates and assumptions are reasonably likely to materially impact our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Estimates and judgments are based on historical experience, forecasted events, and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Estimates and judgments may vary under different assumptions or conditions. We evaluate our estimates and judgments on an ongoing basis.
We believe the accounting policies below are critical in the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and require management’s most difficult, subjective, or complex judgments.
We enter into contracts with customers that may include combinations of products and services, resulting in arrangements containing multiple performance obligations for hardware and software products and/or various services.
The majority of our revenue is derived from sales of product and the associated support and maintenance which is recognized when, or as, control of promised products or services is transferred to the customer at the transaction price. Transaction price is adjusted for variable consideration which may be offered in contracts with customers, partners and distributors and may include rebates, volume-based discounts, cooperative marketing, price protection, and other incentive programs.
Significant judgment is applied in determining the transaction price as we may be required to estimate variable consideration at the time of revenue recognition. When determining the amount of revenue to recognize, we estimate the expected usage of these programs, applying the expected value or most likely estimate and update the estimate at each reporting period as actual utilization becomes available. Variable consideration is recognized only to the extent that it is probable that a significant reversal of revenue will not occur. We also consider the customers' right of return in determining the transaction price, where applicable.
To recognize revenue for the products and services for which control has been transferred, we allocate the transaction price for the contract among the performance obligations on a relative standalone selling price ("SSP") basis. We establish SSP for most of our products and services based on the observable price of the products or services when sold separately in similar circumstances to similar customers. When the SSP is not directly observable, we estimate SSP based on management judgment by considering available data such as internal margin objectives, pricing strategies, market/competitive conditions, historical profitability data, as well as other observable inputs. We establish SSP ranges for our products and services and reassesses them periodically.
Taxes on Earnings
We calculate our current and deferred tax provisions based on estimates and assumptions that could differ from the final positions reflected in our income tax returns. We will adjust our current and deferred tax provisions based on our tax returns which are generally filed in the third or fourth quarters of the subsequent fiscal year.
We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected tax consequences of temporary differences between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which we expect the differences to reverse.
We record a valuation allowance to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that we are more likely than not to realize. In determining the need for a valuation allowance, we consider future market growth, forecasted earnings, future sources of taxable income, the mix of earnings in the jurisdictions in which we operate, and prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. In order for us to realize our deferred tax assets, we must be able to generate sufficient taxable income in the jurisdictions in which the deferred tax assets are located.