Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) Spotlight Stock of the Week

In 2013, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has been the best-performing component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI). Shares are up more than 54%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) itself has risen by only 11.15%, and its second best-performing component, Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) , has climbed by just 17.53% in comparison. But this past week gave us Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s worst performance so far this year, with a 7.84% drop — its first decline since the week of Feb. 11.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)

So what happened?
On Monday, one of the company’s top executives, Senior Vice President Ajei Gopal, announced that he’s leaving the company to join Silver Lake Partners — the private-equity group that’s attempting to take Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) private. Gopal will probably play a large role in helping Silver Lake turn Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) around, considering he’s helped in the same capacity at Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ). But Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s turnaround is far from complete, so this isn’t a move Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) shareholders wanted to see.

On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) analyst Bill Shope lowered Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) stock from a “neutral” to a “sell,” saying he could see shares falling 31% from Monday’s closing price of $23.31. That means Shope believes that HP shares, which currently sit at $21.97, will drop to $16.09 sometime in the future.

Wednesday brought little news, but shares fell again, probably in reaction to the downgrade. Then Thursday arrived with more drama, as the company announced that Ray Lane will step down as chairman of the board but will retain a seat. Board members John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson also announced that they’ve chosen to resign from their positions.

Shares closed the day up 1.78%, but they resumed their tumble on Friday, falling another 1.48% during the trading session. The seesawing performance of the stock following the announcements indicates to me that shareholders have mixed feelings on the board members’ moves.

During the most recent shareholder meeting, when board members were re-elected, Hammergren and Thompson received only 54% and 55% of the vote, respectively. Lane didn’t do much better at 58%. Typically, board members receive more than 90% of the vote, so it was clear that a large portion of shareholders weren’t happy with the job these members had been doing. Most analysts cite the $11 billion Autonomy purchase, and the subsequent $8 billion writedown, as the source of shareholder discontent.

What now?
The loss of an SVP during a turnaround is definitely a negative. He probably knows what H-P has planned for the future, and now that he’s going to work on behalf of a competitor, he could use that knowledge against HP in some fashion.

The downgrade is also a negative, but much less of one. It’s just one person’s opinion and should be viewed that way. In the short term, the downgrade has already affected the share price and may put further downward pressure on the stock in the coming weeks, but it will ultimately have only short-term effects. A downgrade in no way has any impact on the overall health of the business, and long-term-oriented investors need to remember that.

As for the board shakeup, it’s really a positive for all shareholders. Although investors themselves didn’t vote the men out, their voice was definitely heard, and it seems clear that the board may now be acting in shareholders’ best interests.

After reviewing the negatives and positives of the week, I believe they essentially balance themselves out. But that’s not to say the stock won’t still fluctuate dramatically over the next few days or weeks, or that I’d buy HP right now. The company still has a way to go to complete its turnaround, and I’d rather sit on the sidelines and let this one play itself out.

The article Dow Spotlight Stock of the Week: Hewlett-Packard originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow’s winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The 10 Largest Pharmaceutical Companies In the World

The 10 Most Expensive Android Apps

The 9 Most Expensive Designer Bags in the World

The 7 Most Expensive Real Estate in the World

The 10 Most Expensive eBay Items Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive iPhone Apps

The 9 Most Expensive Designer Shoes in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Cigarette Brands

The 10 Most Expensive Law Schools in the US

The 10 Best Wall Street Movies

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Clubs Ever Sold

The 10 Most Expensive Golf Memberships

The 10 Best Disney Characters Ever Created

The 8 Best Foods for Gaining Weight

The 10 Most Expensive Colleges in the World

The 7 Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

The 7 Most Expensive High Schools in the World

The 10 Electric Vehicles with the Longest Range

The 10 Cities with the Worst Drivers in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Created

10 Islands to Visit Before You Die

10 Famous Celebrities Who Needed Rehab

The 15 Countries with the Largest Oil Reserves

The 10 Most Overused Excuses in the World

The 5 Best iOS Apps You Can’t Get on Android

5 Companies Damaged By Social Media Blunders

The 10 Most Legendary Blues Songs

The 10 Most Lawless Places in the World

4 Reasons China is a Threat to the US

The 17 Most Sugary Drinks in the World

The 10 Most Ruthless Rulers in History

The 10 Greatest Generals in History

Top 8 Travel Destinations for 2015

The 10 Safest Dog Breeds for Children

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in the US

The 7 Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings

The 10 Best LoL Teams in the World

Top 10 Worst Marketing Campaigns Ever Produced

Top 5 Diets that Help You Lose Weight

The 10 Best Ways to Stay Awake

7 Artists That Switched Musical Genres

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in New Jersey

The 10 Best High Schools in New York

The 10 Countries With the Least Gender Inequality

The 6 Biggest Musician-Manager Feuds

The 10 Countries with the Cheapest Gas Prices

The 7 Most Theatrical Bands of All Time

The 8 Worst Band Breakups of All Time

The 10 Most Important South American Leaders

The 7 Most Successful Casting Show Winners

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!