Is HP a Buy or a Sell? Analysts' Calls
In light of Hewlett Packard's announcement on Thursday to spin off its personal computer division, two analysts are divided over whether the tech company is a buy or a sell.
Although HP traded at a session- and 52-week low of $22.75 on Friday, Brian Marshall, Gleacher & Co. analyst, still has a buy rating on the stock.
"I think what we're seeing obviously is a capitulation trade," he said in an interview with CNBC. "People are frustrated with the management team and their financial performance...I think we're pretty close to the absolute bottom here, in my view." (Click here for an explanation of capitulation.)
HP shares shed 20 percent on Friday to end the day at $23.60. HP's plunge concided with a 172-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Marshall added that he thinks HP will show an upside over the next couple of years, with the 2012 calendar year being a transition period for the company—not unlike what Dell is experiencing right now, he said.
Not every analyst is as bullish on HP as Marshall is.
David Garrity, a principal with GVA Research, does not think HP is a buy. He said the company's timeline of spinning off its PC business within the next 12 to 18 months does not give investors a strong rationale for buying HP's stock now.
"Given the fact of how rapidly things move in product markets, in technology, 18 months might as well be a century," Garrity said in an interview with CNBC. "Clearly it's going to be difficult to realize value for this if you've got something that's just sitting there losing market share steadily to products—tablet PCs and smartphones."
Garrity said he thinks the stock's price will fall to the low $20s, considering HP's "wasting assets sitting on the balance" amid the current macroeconomy.
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David Garrity and his company do not own HP stock. Brian Marshall has holdings in Autonomy, a British company that HP has offered to buy.