Shares of tech company Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE - Get Report) have soared almost 40%, rising from around $16 per share to Wednesday's close of $22.09 since my buy recommendation on May 23. With the stock now up 45% year to date and trading a 52-week highs, taking some profits off the table would be a wise move.
HPE's recent push toward narrowing operations has made the company's business easier to understand. At the same time, since its split from PC maker and printing business company HP (HPQ - Get Report) , CEO Meg Whitman has pushed all of the right buttons, looking for growth opportunities, including M&A.
The company's decision in May to merge with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in an $8.5 billion deal was one recent example. It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of HPE's plan to divest of its software assets, which are expected to fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion.
Nevertheless, purely from a risk-vs.-reward perspective, these shares aren't as attractive as they were six months ago.
True, HPE stock is trading at around 12 times projected earnings over the next year, which is about five points below the average stock in the S&P 500 (SPX) . That's also because Wall Street expects the company's revenue to remain under pressure for the next several quarters as the company's various initiatives to slim down take effect. HPE's revenue is expected to grow at just 3% year over year.
Meanwhile, on the software side, revenue is projected to decline by about 12% over the same time frame. Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported fiscal third-quarter earnings results on Wednesday. Although earnings of 49 cents per share beat by 4 cents, revenue declined 6.5% year over year, missing Street estimates by about $440 million -- a trend that should continue for the next couple of quarters.
HPE stock has seemingly outperformed its growth rate. Taking some profits now would be smart. At around $22 per share and at 52-week highs, the stock becomes attractive again at 10% to 15% below where it is now, or when revenue growth picks back up.