Can Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) Surprise This Earnings Season?

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQAnalyst Report) is set to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 results on Nov 26. Last quarter, it posted a negative surprise of 1.15%. Let us see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors This Past Quarter

Hewlett-Packard posted dismal third-quarter results wherein both the top and bottom lines missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Moreover, the company witnessed revenue declines in every business segment barring the Software segment, which recorded a 1% increase in revenues on a year-over-year basis. Additionally, margin contractions also resulted in a year-over-year decline in net profit.

The company is reeling under pressure due to soft consumer demand in the PC industry. Moreover, pricing pressures in personal systems, printing and servers are expected to impact results. However, improvement in execution and better-than-expected demand for Hewlett-Packard’s big data, security and cloud offerings are expected to provide some cushion to the top line.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Hewlett-Packard is likely to beat earnings this quarter. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 to surpass earnings estimates. However, that is not the case here due to the following factors:

Zacks ESP: ESP for Hewlett-Packard is 0.00% since the Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.00 per share, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Zacks Rank: Hewlett-Packard’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) when combined with a 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 and 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

SanDisk Corp (SNDKAnalyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +2.04 and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Micron Technology (MUSnapshot Report), with Earnings ESP of +7.32% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Ingram Micro (IMAnalyst Report), with Earnings ESP of +2.56% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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About the Author

At the center of everything we do is a strong commitment to independent research and sharing its profitable discoveries with investors. This dedication to giving investors a trading advantage led to the creation of our proven Zacks Rank stock-rating system. Since 1986 it has nearly tripled the S&P 500 with an average gain of +26% per year. These returns cover a period from 1986-2011 and were audited and attested by Baker Tilly, an independent accounting firm.

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