HP schedules analyst meeting

28 Sep 12

Hewlett-Packard will hold an analyst meeting next week as Wall Street prepares for further bad news from the struggling company.

Jefferies, a global investment banking group, analyst Peter Misek cut his rating on HP's shares to Underperform from Hold on Wednesday, with a new target of US$14, down from $17.

Forbes reports Misek continues to see "cyclical and secular headwinds" for the company's PC, services and printer business.

Misek's report follows news HP will eventually return to the smartphone market, with CEO Meg Whitman acknowledging it’s only a matter of time before the company returns to the industry it abandoned over a year ago.

While Whitman accepted the importance of smartphones in the industry, she refused to condemn the PC business at the same time.

But Misek believes that although the company will "aggressively attack" both the smartphone and tablet markets, he sees both as "risky investments" and believes Windows 8 will not help increase PC sales across the globe.

Such views leads Misek to predict HP will use the meeting to issue FY 2013 guidance significantly below current expectations, with J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz sharing a similar opinion.

“Our research indicates that  business conditions remain challenging and with limited remedies, particularly in PCs, printing, and servers,” says Moskowitz to Forbes.

“The factors are part secular, part macroeconomic. Plus, our latest J.P. Morgan CIO survey results indicate that planned growth in IT spending, in general, appears to be compressing.

"Overall, we expect HP to  acknowledge the business challenges, injecting cautious commentary related to FY 2013 and then trying to shift the focus more on HP’s long-term turnaround…

"More definitive plans to reconstruct HP’s long-term revenue and earnings growth profiles need to be in place to provide a potential bottoming in the model and investor sentiment, in our view.”

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