Since this market is boring me to tears, I’ve decided to make a completely worthless prediction: On Thursday, Hewlett-Packard (ticker: HPQ) will report earnings of 49 cents a share. Exactly Four Nine. Write it down. The current estimate is for 46 cents a share, so I’m really being brave here. I’ve just bucked the trend.
OK, this isn’t any special insight on my part. The reason for my brave stand has nothing to do with financial analysis or industry trends, or stuff like that, but I think the media needs it. Let’s just give it to them. It’s basically along the lines of Linus and the Great Pumpkin. You can’t beat up Dell for so long without having something...anything...to fall back on.
I don’t want to brush off what Hurd & Crew have done, but H-P still has a long way to go to becoming a competitive player again. Don’t underestimate how much Carly smashed up this company. When you’re in survival mode, it’s not so hard to get a jump out of your financials. Sure, you can improve your margins if you lay off 15,000 people. Come to think of, isn’t canning people right and left what got so many folks angry at Carly? Oh right, plus that whole Compaq thing. Nearly forgot.
(By the way, Carly is working on her book. My advance preview: Three hundred pages of someone else's fault.)
I see MarketWatch tells us, "New H-P chief Hurd already winning turnaround praises." These stories just write themselves. String a few things together, add some quotes and call it a theme. I wish Hurd success, but please. Things hardly could have gotten worse around there. By turn around, we mean that the stock has now doubled. Doubled, I tells ya! It’s now only 2/3 off its high instead of 5/6.
So mark my words: 49 cents a share. (Or maybe 48.)
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