Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock is finally beginning to rally, and Goldman Sachs analysts have their ideas about why. Meanwhile Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s stock has been falling—in spite of bullish remarks from some—but Goldman Sachs has taken a bearish view on it. In a report issued to investors, they highlighted their views on both tech companies.
Apple Inc. (AAPL): Just A Delayed Reaction?
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.(NYSE:GS) said their IT hardware group outperformed the S&P 500 this week, led by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which advanced 9.1 percent. They’ve rated Apple as a buy. In their view, the stock rally is simply a delayed reaction to the company’s $100 billion capital allocation plan. They also believe this week’s $17 billion bond deal made that reaction even more intense.
In addition, they said investors may be reacting to Apple’s adjusted guidance. While initially adjusting guidance usually causes a negative reaction, the idea here is that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be less likely to miss expectations. As a result, the risk involved in investing in the stock before the iPhone and iPad refresh may be mitigated.
Another near-term catalyst they see is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference, which is set for June 10 – 14 in San Francisco. The company is expected to unveil some major iOS updates, so that has the potential to renew investors’ outlook on Apple’s innovation abilities.
Hewlett-Packard: Not So Fast
When it comes to Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Goldman Sachs analysts said they’re much more bearish than many other analysts. They point to various data points, including the “cautious laser printing commentary” from Canon, disappointments in PC data and several data points indicating weakness in the server industry.
Goldman Sachs downgraded Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) in early April, although bulls continue to focus on two major points. First, they point out that the stock is very inexpensive right now, and second, they believe that the company will be able to report solid earnings in the near term—even if its long term earnings fall off.
In Goldman Sachs’ view however, they believe shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) could get even cheaper over time, especially if investors aren’t sure about the company’s long-term earnings power. They also believe that it will be difficult to continue holding the view of in-line earnings expectations, and they point out that the company might have to go to some extremes just to hit guidance. They don’t believe Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)'s management would make extra printing supplies just to hit near-term guidance, and they expect that investors would be able to tell that they were doing it anyway.
They did list some near-term catalysts for the stock however. Its earnings release on May 21 could provide a catalyst. Also investor conferences set for May and June could provide more details for investors to be interested in. The HP Discover conference is also set for June 11 – 13 in Las Vegas.