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HP's New Strategy: Jury's Still Out

Kaushik Roy, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan, still sees upside for HP ahead. "Gaining confidence in the (relatively) new CEO will take some time and we believe that the catalyst for the HP stock would be its next earnings results in May," he explained. "We believe HP will be able to fix its near-term issues in the services segment in the next quarter or two -- near-term issues such as the China Notebook issues (that are specific to HP) have been mostly resolved and we will start to see improvement starting next quarter."

HP also noted strength in it its enterprise business during its recent first-quarter results, notably in servers, storage and networking, which could bode well for its corporate-focused cloud plans.

"We view HP as very well-positioned to deliver cloud-based infrastructure, while playing catch-up in connectivity to industry leader Apple," wrote Jayson Noland, an analyst at Robert W. Baird, in a note. "Overall, we remain buyers of HP and view upside/downside as attractive off current levels."

Apotheker did offer investors a timeline for the company's cloud strategy, promising to deliver an HP infrastructure cloud in 2011, allowing companies to access services such as storage from the tech giant's own data centers. This will be followed by platform offerings geared towards the likes of developers, he added.

"Mr. Apotheker believes cloud computing will drive the market toward HP's strengths in infrastructure," said Robert W. Baird's Noland. "We see this initiative as an attractive alternative for corporate customers looking to methodically transition to cloud computing."

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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