Analysts Have Mixed Reviews on Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) Ahead of Impending Split

Technology business Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) posted fiscal third quarter 2015 earnings results on August 20, showcasing a rather lackluster performance ahead of the company’s impending slit.

Highlights from the report include earnings of $0.88 per share, beating the Street’s estimate of $0.85 and exceeding HP’s own forecast. Despite beating expectations, the company’s earnings still fell from $0.89 earnings per share from the same quarter last year. Revenue came in at $25.3 billion, missing the Street’s expectations of $25.5 billion and falling 8% from the same quarter a year prior. To put this in perspective, revenue was down in five out of the company’s six segments, with the one exception being a 2% increase in Enterprise Group revenue.

Hewlett-Packard announced plans to split into two separate companies back in October 2014 and is expected to be complete on November 1 of this year. At first, many questioned why the company chose to split as it previously performed well. But after the company’s mediocre Q3 earnings, it became clear that something needs to change.

The two separate companies will be formally known as HP Inc. and HP Enterprise, with the first focusing on personal computers and printers and the other focusing on computing segments. The split will cost around $400-$450 million and will be divided between the two companies.

Hewlett-Packard updated investors on how far the company is in the process of splitting, noting that that HP Enterprise filed important documentation with the SEC on July 1 and new board members for each company have been appointed.

One major concern that surely has crossed investors’ minds is the fall of the PC this year. PC’s will be under HP Inc. after the split. CFO Catherine Lesjak tried to assure investors about this issue; noting the company’s “worldwide market share [grew] to 18.9%, as the market continued to consolidate.” Executive VP-Printing and Personal Systems Don Weisler also commented on this issue, citing “[Personal Systems] is pretty soft. The Commercial segment, while it’s not overwhelming, is not as contracted as what the Consumer market is.” Weisler did not sugar coat the fall of the PC and its impact it has had on the company’s revenue. He acknowledged it will take several quarters to jump back.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White weighed in on Hewlett-Packard following the company’s Q3 earnings on August 21, reiterating a Hold rating on the stock and reducing his price target from $33 to $29. White attributes his rating to “challenged trends across the PC and printing markets.” While the analyst believes “the separation of HP into two companies makes sense,” it “does not change the fact that we believe both of these businesses are rapidly being commoditized and thus future profit growth potential appears limited.”

Overall, Brian White has a 54% success rate recommending stocks and a +11.3% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

On the other hand, S&P Capital analyst Angelo Zino maintained a Strong Buy on Hewlett-Packard on August 21, basing his rating on his optimism of the impending split.

On average, Angelo Zino has a 22% success rate recommending stocks and a -24.9% average loss per recommendation.

Out of 15 analysts polled by TipRanks within the past three months, nine are bullish on Hewlett-Packard and six are neural. The average 12-month price target for the company is $39.20, marking a 42.7% potential upside from where the stock last closed. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Hewlett-Packard is Moderate Buy.

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