Last quarter wasn't the one HP (HPQ -2.40%) shareholders were hoping for. Revenue of $13.8 billion fell short of the $14.1 billion analysts were hoping for. And, while earnings of $0.75 per share topped expectations of $0.74 for its first quarter of fiscal 2023, that's still well below the year-ago comparison of $1.10 per share.

The company's guidance for the current quarter and current year isn't exactly thrilling, either. The stock is down since releasing these numbers following Tuesday's close, outpacing marketwide weakness.

Blame its slowing personal computer business, mostly. Everyone else is.

I'm neither surprised nor concerned. The PC business is slowing so dramatically from its frenzied growth in the middle of the pandemic that handicapping the exact impact of its slowdown is nearly impossible. But it doesn't really matter, because HP is not primarily a PC company.

HP is ultimately about printing

HP nonetheless remains one of the world's most prolific personal computer makers. Data from technology researcher Gartner suggests it accounts for roughly one-fifth of worldwide computer sales. Personal computers also account for around two-thirds of the company's typical top line. The graphic below puts things in perspective -- particularly the recent decline of its personal computer business.

The bulk of HP's revenue  comes from sales of personal computers.

Data source: HP Inc. Chart by author.

What's less appreciated here, however, is where the bulk of HP's profits come from: printing.

Printers and ink were producing roughly two-thirds of the company's income prior to the pandemic, and that's quickly becoming the case again. In fact, printing's profitability has never been as consistently strong as it is at this time.

The bulk of HP's operating income is driven by sales of printers and printing supplies.

Data source: HP Inc. Chart by author.

That's mostly a result of the pandemic. The rush of people suddenly working from home prompted a wave of purchases of laptops and desktops as well as printers.

Those buyers aren't ready to replace these computers just yet. They're restocking printer cartridges on a pretty regular basis now, though, still working from home as well as returning to work at their offices.

That's why a report by commercial printing company Smithers suggests the annual inkjet and toner market is on pace to grow from $137 billion last year to $230 billion by 2032, now that the world has easy, immediate access to printed versions of their digital documents. This forecast jibes with Mordor Intelligence's outlook for annualized inkjet market growth of 8.3% through 2027.

These growth outlooks don't exactly qualify printing as a growth industry. It is a cash cow business, though, which isn't being fully reflected in HP stock's price.

A bargain worth buying

HP shares are priced at less than 10 times their trailing-12-month earnings, and less than 10 times this current fiscal year's projected profits. You could find relatively cheaper stocks, but you won't find many of this ilk at this valuation. HP is the printing arena's single-biggest player, and is therefore the brand that consumers and companies generally choose when replacing an inkjet cartridge or purchasing toner.

The real story here, however, is the well-supported dividend this replenishment business supports.

Even with PC headwinds blowing, HP was able to generate $0.75 in per-share income in the first fiscal quarter of 2023 ending in January. While down year over year and generally below its average, that's still well above its current quarterly dividend of $0.26 per share.

HP's profits easily cover its dividend payments, even when PC sales are weak.

Source data: Thomson Reuters. Chart by author.

It's a dividend that's been raised every year since 2015, when HP separated its consumer-facing self from its institutional arm, now called Hewlett Packard Enterprise. And with the printing growth outlooks above, there's no reason to suspect HP won't be able to continue paying and even growing its dividend into the foreseeable future. Analysts believe it will.

The bottom line is, don't sweat last quarter's revenue miss too much. While HP certainly doesn't want to abandon the PC business, it could do just fine without it. The company can certainly handle renewed weakness in PCs.

The stock's recent weakness is a chance to add a dividend-paying (its current dividend yield is a solid 3.6%), technology name to your portfolio that serves both the corporate and consumer market, and does just fine in almost any economy. There aren't too many other quality picks out there quite like it.