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Ticker Shock: Four Reasons Hewlett Packard Won't Crash Your Portfolio


Wednesday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.

I had a Wii marathon going (boxing and soccer) last night with my kids. I'm beat, and my thumb and shoulder are sore.

Asian stocks sank overnight. The Hang Seng and the Nikkei were down 1.73% and 0.79%, respectively. Meanwhile, European stocks were in negative territory earlier this morning, too. And here in the US, we're currently trading lower.

Here's what I'm focused on this fine hump day:

Hewlett Packard (HPQ):
Excluding items, the California-based computer giant turned in $0.91 in its third quarter. That was a penny better than expected. Meanwhile, it beat on the top line, too. And excluding items, it's looking for $1.12 a share in its fourth quarter, which isn't too shabby because the estimate I'm seeing is $1.07.

My thoughts:

1. In spite of the beat and upbeat fourth-quarter guidance, my feel is that the Street was left a little bit wanting. I know I was. And if I had to bank on a direction in today's session, it would probably be down.

2. But the thing is, this company still intrigues me in a big way: It has an awesome reputation, Hurd is a very bright guy, and it trades at a tempting 11.7 times this year's estimate. What's not to like?

3. If there's a sell-off, I'd look at it as more of an opportunity.

4. Don't forget the insider buy back in May. Although the stock is up since, that was a really good sign.

TJX Companies
This company deserves some kudos for putting up $0.61 in the second quarter -- a penny more than analysts were expecting. Meanwhile, its revenue line seemed pretty consistent with what the Street had been looking for.

Some thoughts:

1. At about 14.5 times this year's estimate, it's attractive. But given the choice, I'd probably pick up some Target (TGT) instead.

2. I don't hear too many people talking about it, but this line in the release caught my eye: "During the second quarter, the Company spent a total of $194 million in repurchases of TJX stock, retiring 6.4 million shares." That seems like a lot of money spent, which it wouldn't have done unless it saw it as a decent value.

3. No matter how you slice it, its merchandise and prices are going to be popular in the near-term because consumers will continue holding onto their money like grim death.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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