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Hewlett-Packard's Road Ahead


Hewlett-Packard could now start facing the same issues that Dell had not too long ago when it was the top dog...

I'm probably less sanguine than most on Hewlett Packard (HPQ). The company has done a great job and has been a huge winner and that is exactly why I'm at best a hold on the shares. I would look to many companies in the tech space to provide much more upside than HPQ.

In fact, HPQ could now start facing the same issues that Dell (DELL) had not too long ago when it was the top dog and HPQ was working hard to make a bold move against it and others in the industry. HPQ will now be facing a threat from DELL, trying very hard to come back into form. I still think DELL may still hold a cost structure edge over HPQ - broadly speaking. Additionally, Eastman Kodak (EK) is making strides with its printer and cartridge sales, traditionally a key (or the key) area for HPQ.

Lastly, Verifone (PAY) has gotten itself pummeled due to accounting problems. The market doesn't seem to remember that VeriFone Holdings (PAY) was spun out by HPQ after it acquired it in the late 90's and took it private. So one would think a little negativity may come knocking on HPQ's door from PAY's troubles.

Bottom line, in my opinion the best assets produced by HPQ now reside in the form of Agilent (A) and then possibly Verigy (VRGY).

So maybe a swap of HPQ into A is the best play I can think of with respect to HPQ. Otherwise, I would say swapping some HPQ to a combination of DELL and EK might also produce some market beating gains as well.
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