HP Stock Gets Lift From Bullish 2018 Earnings Guidance

HP Stock Gets Lift From Bullish 2018 Earnings Guidance

HP Inc. ( HPQ ) stock roared to life on Friday after the maker of PCs and printers gave a rosy outlook for next year at an analyst day event.

HP shares were up 7.3%, near 21.90, in midday trading on the stock market today . In intraday trading, HP climbed to 21.91, its highest level since February 2011.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP expects to earn $1.74 to $1.84 a share in fiscal 2018, which starts Nov. 1. The $1.79 midpoint is above Wall Street’s consensus of $1.75, according to Zacks Investment Research.

“Fiscal 2017 has been a tremendous year for HP and we are just getting started,” HP Chief Executive Dion Weisler said in a news release . “We’ve delivered reliable earnings and cash flow, taken profitable share, driven productivity, stabilized our core businesses, and importantly, we grew.”

HP stock received at least five price-target increases from Wall Street analysts on Friday. Loop Capital and Morgan Stanley were the most bullish of the bunch, raising their price targets to 25.

IBD’S TAKE: HP stock has a middling IBD Composite Rating of 56 out of 99. It ranks No. 5 out of 14 stocks in IBD’s Computer-Hardware and Peripherals industry group. For more analysis of HP and its peers, visit the IBD Stock Checkup .

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said HP’s analyst day presentation gave her confidence in the company’s revenue growth and strategic positioning in personal computers and printers.

She reiterated her overweight rating in HP stock and upped her price target to 25 from 23.

HP has reinvigorated its core PC and printer portfolio, is having success in the high-end printer-copier market and is making prudent investments in long-term growth markets like 3D printing and immersive computing, she said.

At its analyst day event Thursday, HP said it expects to generate free cash flow of at least $3 billion in fiscal 2018 and plans to return 50% to 75% of that to shareholders via dividends and stock buybacks.

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