Ahead of the Bell: Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard shares tumble in premarket trading after lackluster earnings report

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard shares tumbled 7 percent before Thursday's opening bell after the company reported weak demand for personal computers and falling revenue.

The company fell short of Wall Street profit expectations and revenue dropped 8 percent to $27.2 billion.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek stuck to his "Hold" rating on HP, pointing to weaker-than-expected performances from the company's two main profit areas — printer supplies and technology.

Misek said it will be tough for the company to grow significantly in 2014 and there doesn't appear to be much on the horizon to give it a boost.

Like many PC makers, Hewlett-Packard Co. was slow to respond to the shift to mobile computing. The company stumbled in recent years trying to catch up with the likes of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics. CEO Meg Whitman is trying to turn the company around, but she has warned that it will be a long-term endeavor.

Citi analyst Jim Suva backed his "Buy" rating for HP stock, saying that the company's turn-around story remains intact. HP shares have gained nearly 80 percent since the start of this year.

In premarket trading, Hewlett-Packard shares fell $1.76 to $23.62.

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