HP Is Telling You To Buy These 3 Companies

Hewlett-Packard is a massive company that operates in many divisions, but the recovery of one segment in particular might imply three great buying opportunities.

Feb 25, 2014 at 3:00PM

After years of double-digit annual declines, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) is now seeing a recovery in computers. In the company's fiscal first quarter, it saw PC sales rise 4%, a figure not seen in quite some time. This, combined with comments from CEO Meg Whitman, might imply great investment opportunities in Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), and perhaps Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX).

Is the PC market improving?
Hewlett-Packard's total revenue for its fiscal first quarter declined by 0.6% to $28.2 billion, but its large PC division saw growth of 4% year over year after dropping 2% in the prior quarter. This particular quarter of PC growth marked the first in ten quarters that sales rose.

In a CNBC interview, Whitman discussed the impact of a Windows refresh, and that while consumers are still purchasing tablets, they are also seeing that PCs are necessary in a new world of big data and analytics. Thus, PCs might not be ready for double-digit year-over-year growth, but have perhaps reached a bottom in a very steep decline.

Intel: A staple in HP computers
HP is known for building strong PCs and laptops, and in doing so has built a very deep relationship with chipmaker Intel. Specifically, Intel's chips can be found in the vast majority of all HP laptops, PCs, and even its servers. Hence, HP's quarterly growth in PC bodes well for Intel.

With that said, Intel is not necessarily guiding for accelerated growth, as revenue and EPS in 2014 is expected to be flat. Furthermore, Intel recently announced plans to layoff nearly 5% of its workforce, which isn't exactly a vote of confidence for growth.

However, in Intel's January earnings report, investors seemed to discount the fact that its PC business was flat year over year, after dropping 3% in the quarter prior. This flat performance showed improvements, and given the fact its 62% of Intel's total business, such improvements might also insinuate a boost for the company, meaning it's possible that Intel is just guiding conservatively.

With Intel trading at just 13 times earnings, far below the S&P 500 average of 19, this strength and hint of a recovery might prove to be a great investment opportunity.

Western Digital and Seagate Technology: Ready to thrive with PCs
Western Digital and Seagate Technology combined control nearly 85% of the hard disk drive (HDD) market; HDDs are storage devices used in PCs, laptops, and an array of other devices like game consoles and DVRs. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the total addressable market (TAM) for HDDs stood at 142 million according to both companies, and Western Digital shipped 63.1 million while Seagate shipped 56.6 million.

If we rewind five-seven years ago, nearly all of these HDDs came from the PC or laptop market, but with an industrywide decline, both companies have made investments in other segments. In particular, Seagate and Western have grown via the cloud, as the data transferred to the cloud is stored on HDDs. Also, both have made investments in solid state drives (SSDs), which are similar to HDDs but used in smartphones and tablets.

With that said, the infrastructure is still in place for significant growth if the PC/laptop market recovers, and the performance of both HP and Intel is a good indication that such a recover is in place. However, it's worth noting that Western Digital has done a much better job at gaining market share. For example, Western Digital's total share of the HDD market stands at 45% while Seagate's is 40%, although each had equal share 12 months ago . Furthermore, while both companies are valued similarly, Western Digital likely presents a better investment opportunity due to its market share gains.

Final thoughts
Essentially, these are four companies that could all thrive if and when the PC/laptop market recovers. While Western Digital is likely a better opportunity than Seagate, it's worth noting that all four present great value.

HP, Intel, Western Digital, and Intel all trade at forward P/E multiples of 10 or below, and all pay an annual dividend. This is value not often seen in this market, but has been created due to a weak PC market. Thus, a recovering market can no doubt take these four stocks significantly higher, and HP is giving us a good indication that this will occur.

These 3 stocks can help you retire rich
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Brian Nichols has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Western Digital.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers