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HP: Wall Street Watches for Signs of Progress

Last month, HP also expanded its board of directors, bringing in former Liberty Media (LMCA) CEO Robert "Dob" Bennett, former Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and former McDonald's (MCD) CEO James Skinner.

"HPQ has been making progress on its 'fix and rebuild' mission for FY13 and this has been well reflected in the stock," wrote Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group, in a recent note. "In our view, CEO Whitman has deftly balanced major cost cutting activities and simultaneously investing in new product innovation (e.g., multi-function printers, HAVEn big data analytics platform, expanded 3PAR offerings, 'IT in a Box' for SMB, etc.) that are beginning to bear fruit."

In June, HP unveiled a host of big data initiatives, keen to tap into one of the hottest trends in tech.

Big data refers to the management of vast quantities of unstructured data, or information that is outside the realm of traditional databases. Examples include email messages, PowerPoint presentations, audio, video and social media information.

ISI Group's Marshall, however, warns that the rapid shrinkage in the PC market still poses huge challenges for HP, even after its "nuts and bolts" internal improvements. "While HPQ has done a good job recently managing expectations and setting a low bar for itself, we believe recent comments suggesting revenue growth is a 'possibility' in FY14 will prove too optimistic," he wrote.

Last week PC rival Dell (DELL - Get Report) reported fiscal second-quarter revenue of $14.5 billion, flat year over year. Revenue from the company's End User Computing division was down 5% over the same period.

HP shares slipped 1.01% to $25.58 during Wednesday's trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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