It's great to see a comment about Hewlett-Packard on the message board. I would like to see the company buy its own stock too. The problem is there is simply not enough cash. Cash flows from the consumer businesses will continue their downward fall until they reach the new equilibrium. The sales to corporate customers will take time to increase. The current high debt makes it impossible for the company to risk using its cash for stock buy backs. Its already in a risky position and a shock from external events would be devasting if the company's cash fell any lower.
I agree that free cash flow has been a problem. However, if you look at the last three quarters, free cash flow has stabalized and has actually begun an upturn. The expense cutbacks going on right now will continue to improve that metric. This is one of the factors leading ISI Group to put a "BUY" on HPQ. Check out the financial slides from the Analyst Meeting. GLTA