Can HPE Spend Its Way to Growth?

Next month will mark five years since Meg Whitman joined Hewlett Packard. In that time she has streamlined the once-iconic Silicon Valley giant, including last year’s separation of the enterprise businesses from the consumer products operations. Now the question is what comes next, for both Ms. Whitman and the company she still runs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

HPE is at something of a crossroads. It is in the process of carving off particularly weak parts of its business, like the enterprise services unit. But the strongest of what’s left—servers, storage and networking hardware and support and consulting services— is showing anemic growth, up less than 1% in revenue in 2015 and 3% in the first half of this year.

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HPE reports July quarter earnings on Sept. 7. That’s likely to be closely watched for a clue as to Ms. Whitman’s intentions.

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The logical candidates for acquisition could include companies like Nutanix, which could help HPE in an emerging area of storage.