NEW YORK (
) -- Investors should be careful about owning
(HPQ - Get Report)
shares, warns Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets.
"The greater than 50% rally in HP's stock over the past seven weeks has been impressive and driven by a plethora of factors, but none that we believe are based in reality," he wrote in a note released Friday. "As such, we believe the stock is close to running out of steam and we remain sellers at these levels."
The beleaguered tech giant has been thrust into the spotlight recently. HP's shares
on Wednesday following a news report that potential purchasers are evaluating the company's
and EDS units.
A spokesman for HP told
that the company doesn't comment on speculation.
There have been plenty of rumors, though, about HP carving off parts of its business. In a recent regulatory filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
, HP said it will "continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives."
White, however, believes that the
talk swirling around rival
has fuelled HP M&A chatter, lifting its shares.
"Given the current legal issues surrounding Autonomy after HP called out improprieties at the company, we can't imagine that any rational buyer would pay much for this business," White wrote. "While services have been challenged in recent quarters, selling off EDS seems a bit extreme and unlikely to happen in the near term, especially when this business makes sense with HP's enterprise portfolio. We don't expect a major, near-term transformation at HP."
Also, this week's
from tech bellwether
hardly bodes well for HP, highlighting pressure in the PC market.
There had been hopes that
Windows 8 launch would boost the PC business, although that is yet to materialize, according to White. "Intel's call last night provided a subtle reminder that demand is not off to the races just yet," he wrote. The analyst also notes that HP's restructuring challenges and "stretched balance sheet" make it more vulnerable to competition from IT heavyweights such as
(IBM - Get Report)
(CSCO - Get Report)
, as well as
(EMC - Get Report)