Are Analysts and Investors Buying Into H-P’s Recovery Story?

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Meg WhitmanChief Executive Officer and President of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) Meg Whitman has faced tough criticism regarding the direction the company is taking to combat declining personal computer sales and weaker corporate IT spending, but throughout the series of recent earnings disappointments she has maintained that the company is in the midst of a turnaround.

Up until the company released its first quarter earnings on Thursday, the evidence to prove that assertion was minimal. Whitman has made some tough decisions in the past 12 months, announcing a plan to cut an estimated 29,000 jobs over the next two years and reversing a decision to spin off its personal computer business. This is part of what she has called the diagnostic portion of the ongoing turnaround. “We have a long way to go… this is a multi-year journey to the turnaround,” Whitman said in an interview with CNBC on Friday.

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Yet, that turnaround has barely begun. Hewlett-Packard reported that earnings declined 16 percent and revenue slipped 5.6 percent, showing that its core personal computer business has been hurt as consumers increasingly turn to tablets and other mobile devices for their computing needs. In fact, the company suffered revenue declines in all of its units. The changing technological trends have caused severe problems throughout the industry, and the struggle experienced by many companies to remain profitable was underscored by Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) earnings report, released on Tuesday, which showed a 31 percent decrease in profit…

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