HP (HPQ) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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HP (NYSE:HPQ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “HP’s efforts to turnaround the business have been commendable. The company is focusing on product innovation & differentiation, pricing, and marketing and sales activities to trigger demand for its PC and Printing products in the market, which is currently witnessing a slowdown. The company projects CPU shortages to show improvements during the second half as well as the cost from the overall basket of Components and Logistics is anticipated to improve. We note that rising macro uncertainties and price sensitivity among customers are overhangs on the company’s high-margin Printing business. Change in customer behavior with more customers buying items online, is negatively impacting HP’s Supplies share. Adverse currency volatility is another headwind to the company. Shares underperformed the industry in the past year.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on HPQ. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of HP in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. Bank of America lowered HP from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $19.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. ValuEngine raised HP from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 21st. Standpoint Research initiated coverage on HP in a research note on Wednesday, December 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $19.38 price target on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of HP in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.03.

Shares of NYSE:HPQ traded up $0.04 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $20.61. 4,091,536 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 12,137,759. HP has a 1-year low of $18.46 and a 1-year high of $27.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $30.98 billion, a PE ratio of 10.20, a PEG ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 1.39.

HP (NYSE:HPQ) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 27th. The computer maker reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52. The business had revenue of $14.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $14.81 billion. HP had a negative return on equity of 216.97% and a net margin of 7.15%. HP’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.48 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that HP will post 2.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Dion J. Weisler sold 36,799 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.00, for a total value of $735,980.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HPQ. Claybrook Capital LLC increased its holdings in shares of HP by 367.8% in the fourth quarter. Claybrook Capital LLC now owns 1,235 shares of the computer maker’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 971 shares in the last quarter. Sontag Advisory LLC bought a new stake in shares of HP in the fourth quarter worth about $26,000. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. increased its holdings in shares of HP by 1,760.0% in the first quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,302 shares of the computer maker’s stock worth $25,000 after acquiring an additional 1,232 shares in the last quarter. Gradient Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of HP by 331.6% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 1,394 shares of the computer maker’s stock worth $27,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Athena Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of HP in the fourth quarter worth about $29,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.01% of the company’s stock.

About HP

HP Inc provides products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. It operates through Personal Systems and Printing segments. The Personal Systems segment offers commercial personal computers (PCs), consumer PCs, workstations, thin clients, commercial tablets and mobility devices, retail point-of-sale systems, displays and other related accessories, software, support, and services for the commercial and consumer markets.

Further Reading: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE), For Valuing Stocks

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