Here's a headline you don't see every day: Tumbling tech titan trashes value funds.
The Hewlett-Packard File
Business: Computer and imaging equipment and services
52-Week Range: $32.63-$78
Percentage Change from Jan. 1: -11.5%
Market Cap: $77.4 billion
P/E Ratio: 24.1
Source: Baseline and Morningstar.
On Monday computer giant
posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share, missing Wall Street analysts' estimates by a whopping 10 cents. The disappointment comes on the heels of similar misses from
PC shops like
and a Sept. 22
H-P prediction that it would meet analysts' targets.
Hewlett-Packard shares, already down 11.5% this year prior to Monday, were off $5.69, or 14.5%, at $33.44 in Monday midday trading. When a big tech stock blows up, growth funds -- currently carrying a fat 40% tech stake on average -- are usually the biggest casualties. But not this time.
Today some 160 large-cap value funds own H-P shares -- about 50% of the category. By comparison, only 30% of big-cap growth funds, 111 funds, and just 18% of tech-sector funds, 20 funds, are exposed to the company's sagging shares.
To say the least this probably comes as a surprise to many value-fund shareholders, who probably picked a value fund to insulate themselves somewhat from precisely this type of tech-stock implosion.
In the classic definition, value funds are essentially bargain hunters -- typically focusing on cheap stocks of steadily growing companies, which tends to keep tech stocks out their portfolios. The average large-cap value fund has just 14.4% of its money in tech stocks -- less than half the mercurial and pricey sector's weighting in the
S&P 500, according to
But in recent years tech has led the market, motivating many value-fund managers to nibble at the sector's battered types. And H-P fits that bill with a 24.1
price-to-earnings ratio nearly in line with the broader market and a 19% five-year annualized return that slightly trails the S&P 500.
Big Up, Big Down
For their part, growth-fund managers -- who seek out the fastest growing shops without fearing high valuations -- have been
dumping shares of shops like H-P that depend on the maturing PC market for much of their growth. At the start of the year nearly a third of tech funds owned H-P shares, but by Sept. 30 that figure had fallen to 18%.
Of the 10 funds with the highest percentage of their assets sunk into H-P's shares, only one (
Midas Special Equities) is a growth fund. The list includes one of the biggest value funds out there, the $19 billion
Davis New York Venture fund, which had a 5.1% H-P position on June 30 -- the date of the most recent data available on the firm's Web site.
The value fund's co-manager, Chris Davis, appears to like H-P quite a bit. It also holds a significant position, 5.5%, in the $83 million
Davis Growth & Income fund, and on Sept. 30 it had a 3.2% position in the $5.2 billion
Selected American fund -- a large-cap value fund Davis also co-manages.
While some might chide value managers for buying H-P, it's an understandable decision. Similarly this year, many have started nibbling at battered tech types like the floundering
, down more than 68% this year.
While value managers have found that cheap tech stocks like these have gotten, well, cheaper, their price-conscious streak has kept them ahead of growth peers this year. The average big-cap value fund is up 2.6% since Jan. 1, while the average tech-stuffed large-cap growth fund is down just over 8%, according to Morningstar.
If you're shopping for a tech-light value fund, the
Big Screen sifted the fund world for those very funds just a couple of weeks ago.
Editorial Assistant Dan Bernstein contributed to this article.