Hewlett-Packard Wants to Give More Back

Things haven't been going so well for Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) shareholders. Their company's management is a revolving door, while the board is simply atrocious. Well, that same board has just authorized a 10% bump in its next quarterly dividend, which is expected to be declared in a couple of months.

The current quarterly dividend sits at $0.12, or $0.48 annually, so the increase will bring that yearly amount to almost $0.53. Based on Friday's closing price, that would boost its dividend yield to about 2.2%, up from the prior 2% level. While that yield keeps it in line with the yield of other tech giants, it hardly makes up for its lousy share performance.

Company

Dividend Yield

1 Year Share Performance

HP 2.2% (43.8%)
IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) 1.5% 28.8%
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) 2.5% 25.3%
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) 3% 37.4%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

What's even more boggling is when you consider that just last week CEO Meg Whitman said: "Our cost structure is not sustainable. Our expenses are growing faster than revenues. That is not a sustainable formula." That's partially why she's merging the PC and printer businesses, after all.

While she's referring to operating expenses and dividends are paid out of net income, bumping the dividend still means cash going out the door -- cash that could be used to help her turnaround plans. The company had previously said it wanted to keep boosting its annual payout by double digits, so it wants to keep its word.

But dividend increases should be accompanied by a healthy and preferably growing business to foot the payout bill, while HP saw last quarter's revenue shrink by 7%, and the net income that funds those dividends plunged by 43.6%. What were we just saying about sustainable formulas?

At this rate, that dividend may not be sustainable, and if HP's business keeps flailing, it might even have to scale back its payouts further down the road. As if the turnaround clock wasn't already ticking, it just started counting down a little bit faster.

One reason HP has performed terribly over the past year is the lack of a clear mobile strategy. That's a shame, because the mobile revolution is set to be The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution. If you're looking for the name of a company that's riding the mobile wave instead of missing out on it, get this totally free report now before it's too late.

Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel and Microsoft and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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