Hewlett-Packard Co's Hold Recommendation Supported

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 115.81% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 32.93% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Computers & Peripherals industry. The net income increased by 115.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$8,857.00 million to $1,390.00 million.
  • HEWLETT-PACKARD CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HEWLETT-PACKARD CO swung to a loss, reporting -$6.45 versus $3.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.55 versus -$6.45).
  • The gross profit margin for HEWLETT-PACKARD CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 26.33%. Regardless of HPQ's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HPQ's net profit margin of 5.10% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, HPQ has a quick ratio of 0.67, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.

Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $42.9 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 55.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Hewlett-Packard Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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