4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Hewlett-Packard

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 165,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, PC and printer giant Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at HP's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

HP facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Palo Alto, Calif. (1939)

Market Cap

$94.4 billion

Industry

Computer hardware

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$120.4 billion

Management

Interim CEO Catherine Lesjak
Chief Administrative Officer Peter Bocian

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)

20.6%

Cash/Debt

$14.2 billion / $17.7 billion

Competitors

IBM (NYSE: IBM  )
Accenture (NYSE: ACN  )
Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  )

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 95% of the 791 All-Star members who have rated HP believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include JPDemers and TSIF, both of whom are ranked in the top 5% of our community.

Just last week, JPDemers highlighted HP's Hurd crisis as a genuine bargain opportunity: "Price has taken an unjustified hit due to the CEO's problems. When the smoke clears, it'll be business as usual."

HP has been a 3-star pick in CAPS for quite some time, but the stock's scandal-driven slide has fueled a recent 4-star upgrade. While the departure of CEO Hurd will certainly be a big loss for shareholders in the short term, our community believes HP's growth prospects over the long run remain as healthy as ever. And with HP now trading at a P/E discount to main rivals IBM, Accenture, and Dell, now might actually be the best time to buy into that growth.

CAPS All-Star TSIF explains:

We are currently in a technology cycle as new operating systems, reliance on networking, and movement to a "cloud" type environment start to emerge. Some rotation of equipment will need to be done. Storage demand continues to grow exponentially. ... HP is positioned to grow in all of these areas. Its hardware/software/services mix is well balanced. Its acquis[i]tion of [Palm] may hurt in the short run, but I'm confident HP will wring profit from even it in the next few years. ...

HP is a cash generating machine. They have been buying back stock, ($18 Billion in the last three years. Even in 2009 it bought back over $3 Billion, only half of the prior two years, but quite a display of cash flow in the heart of the recession). ...

HP remains well rounded and robust and a great tech bell weather.

What do you think about HP, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Accenture is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.


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