Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hewlett-Packard falls on Lexmark’s warning

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) � Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co. fell Friday, standing out in sharp contrast against a broad-based Wall Street rally.

The shares traded down 1.9% to close at $18.98, leaving H-P HPQ �as the only Dow Jones Industrial Average component in the red. The Dow industrials added 204 points on reports about growth in China�s economy as well U.S. consumer sentiment. Read Market Snapshot.

/quotes/zigman/229301/quotes/nls/hpq HPQ 18.98, -0.37, -1.91% /quotes/zigman/131011/quotes/nls/lxk LXK 20.36, -3.95, -16.25% /quotes/zigman/2625109 DWCTCQ 7,144.75, +79.08, +1.12%

H-P�s weakness was apparently triggered by a warning from Lexmark International Inc. LXK ,�which cut its second-quarter outlook late Thursday, said ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall. Read about Lexmark warning.

The printer maker cited business weakness in Europe as one of the factors behind the shortfall.

That�s bad news for H-P on two counts. It�s already known that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech powerhouse�s sizable exposure in Europe makes it vulnerable to economic problems dogging the region.

Lexmark�s warning also suggests problems for H-P in its own printer business. Once considered the Silicon Valley giant�s crown jewel, H-P�s printer business has struggled with slower growth.

One reason is the overall decline in demand � but there�s also the growing sense that users simply aren�t printing as much as they used to.


H-P also took a hit as a result of a downbeat view from J.P. Morgan, which reaffirmed its underweight view on the blue-chip stock.

�The company�s revenue and earnings growth profiles stand to be under pressure in the near term, owing to company-specific issues, macroeconomic challenges, and the ill-effects of currency fluctuations,� analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a note.

On the other hand, RBC Capital�s Amit Daryanani kept an outperforming rating on H-P, saying in a note, �While macro remains challenging, the company is focused on right-sizing its operations and moving up the value proposition with enterprise customers.�

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