Friday, July 13, 2012

(BN) Hewlett-Packard Shares Fall on Printer Slump Speculation

>> why would people buy a printer these days? <<

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) declined to the lowest intraday price in more than seven years after a competitor in the printer market predicted a slowdown in corporate purchasing.

Hewlett-Packard fell 2.2 percent to $18.92 at 12:34 p.m. in New York, and earlier dropped to $18.77, the lowest intraday price since November 2004. The stock had dropped 25 percent this year through yesterday.

Printer-maker Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) cut its second- quarter sales and profit forecast yesterday, citing weaker demand from customers in Europe and unfavorable exchange rates. Lexmark said the trends would probably affect results in the second half of the year as well.

Hewlett-Packard got almost a fifth of revenue and more than a quarter of operating profit from its printing unit in the second quarter that ended in April. The company said in March it would combine its personal-computer unit with the printer division to help cut expenses amid declining sales and profit.

"Lexmark is really the driver in the weakness in Hewlett- Packard today," said Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, based in New York. "Printing is one of the most important pieces of Hewlett-Packard's market as a company, and people don't want to upgrade their printers."

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