If you are looking to buy into ignored stocks, I recommend considering firms with exposure to PCs. The desktop, regardless of tablet and smartphone penetration, won't be completely replaced. If anything, I see it making a long-term comeback due to its practicality. Now the goal is to buy into stocks that have already factored in the worst and are now positioned to gain from any positive catalyst--any. Below, I review two companies that have fallen from poor PC trends.
Why Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) Is Regarded as Junk
Hewlett-Packard, commonly known as "HP," manufactures printers and hardware for personal computers. It had been the leading manufacturer of personal computers until it was overtaken by the Chinese-based Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (PINK:LNVGY), the maker of "ThinkPad" PCs. The decline that this tech giant has experienced in the past two years has been attributed to several factors.
One of these factors is the firing of the company’s CEO Mark Hurd. While he was criticized for poor professionalism with employees, his contribution has been largely ignored. Hurd was famous for implementing policies that increased the company’s profitability, such as reducing workforce and launching new products in a timely fashion. It is said that his leadership was responsible for a 130% rise between 2005 and 2010. In 2006, HP led in laptop sales while in 2007 it led in desktop sales. Despite these achievements, the board at HP kicked Hurd out in 2010. The reason cited for this dismissal was that he had an unprofessional relationship with a female client.
HP has had quite some problems with CEOs since then, and the current one has yet to prove her worth to the board. Business has not been that good, largely because demand for personal computers dropped with the growing demand for smartphones and tablets. The introduction of Windows 8 is a great opportunity for HP to make more sales and probably get back on its feet. But if Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)'s poor stock returns are of any indication, the new operating system has not been too successful.
The company is also planning to reduce the number of employees by 27,000 by the end of the fiscal year 2014. The move is aimed at reducing expenses for the already weak company. This can be seen beyond just PCs. HP’s printer business, for example, has also been on the decline. The new CEO attributed this decline to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). She said that since people can upload pictures and share them on Facebook, the need for printing photos has declined. HP reported that revenues in the printer business declined by 10%. HP has been selling printers at a low price while selling ink at a very high price. This is one thing that has made many people shift away from printing. HP is trying out new markets and selling ink at a lower price while raising the price of printers. In the third quarter of 2012, the company reported the biggest loss since it was founded, a loss of $8.9 billion.