Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Will Tomorrow Offer Turnaround Proof?

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Will Tomorrow Offer Turnaround Proof?
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Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) releases the results for its most recently completed quarter tomorrow. Shares rose 96% during the 2013 calendar year in spite of the company’s continued declines in sales. The stock declined 1% during regular trading today, ahead of tomorrow’s report. So what can we expect when Hewlett-Packard reports? Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White expects a modest beat but continued negative sales cycles.

Will investors remain convinced about Hewlett-Packard?

White suggests that investors are becoming increasingly worried about Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s turnaround prospects. He thinks they will want to see “convincing proof” that the company’s turnaround has long-term potential to reposition it for the next wave of growth within IT spending.

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He believes Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) will “modestly beat” their revenue projection for the first fiscal quarter of 2014. He is currently projecting $26.9 billion in revenue. They also think Hewlett-Packard will “slightly” exceed their earnings per share estimate of 84 cents. However, he is currently projecting for the quarter to be the tenth in a row in which HP’s sales cycle has declined, and he believes that the trend will continue for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year.

Hewlett-Packard hit by weak IT spending

White expects that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) will report sequential declines in all segments because of sluggish IT spending. He believes that IT spending will “remain muted” this year and notes that HP will now have to deal with new competition from Dell, which recently was taken private by its founder. He thinks Dell will have more leeway in terms of pricing, which could be a problem for Hewlett-Packard.

Other potential problems he sees for the company are the “increased prevalence of ODMs” in data centers and a “more ambitious” Lenovo Group Ltd. (OTCPINK:LNVGY) (HKG:0992), which has revealed plans to buy International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s x86 server business. In addition, he notes that some next generation software vendors are starting to show momentum.

More negative sales cycles ahead for HP

Looking ahead to the results for the current quarter, he believes Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPW) will post a negative sales cycle for the eleventh quarter in a row. He expects $26.7 billion for the current quarter with earnings per share of 89 cents. He thinks this is reasonable because of historic seasonality and the outlooks provided by HP’s competitors. The company’s 2014 fiscal year outlook suggested earnings per share of between $3.55 and $3.75, compared to the 2013 fiscal year’s earnings of $3.56 per share.

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