Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE) traded mostly unchanged in Tuesday’s extended-hours session despite the enterprise-computing hardware company surpassing Wall Street expectations and raising its full-year forecast.
The company posted a fiscal Q1 profit of 52 cents per share while analysts had expected earnings of 40 cents a share. Moreover, the bottom line grew 18% from a year earlier. Sales of $6.83 billion also came in ahead of Street forecasts but were down from revenues of $6.95 billion reported in the same quarter last year.
Looking ahead, management now expects FY 2021 earnings to range between $1.77 and $1.80 a share, up from its previous forecasts of $1.60 to $1.78. CEO Antonio Neri told Barron’s that the company saw a recovery in enterprise IT spending throughout the quarter, adding that he anticipates demand gradually resuming this year.
As of March 3, 2021, Hewlett Packard has a market value of $18.86 billion, issues a healthy 3.29% dividend yield, and trades 22.36% higher year to date (YTD). Over the past 12 months, the shares have gained 12.5%. Valuation wise, the stock trades at nearly nine times projected earnings, slightly below its five-year average multiple of 9.65 times.
Wall Street View
In January, JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster upgraded HP Enterprise to ‘Overweight’ and lifted his price target to $16 from $13. Coster told investors the stock was a good “contrarian long trade,” given the company’s move into the SD-WAN space, its ongoing cost-cutting initiatives, and the expected recovery in enterprise IT spending.
Most other analysts have a wait-and-see view on the stock. It receives 13 ‘Hold’ ratings, 5 ‘Buy’ ratings, and 1 ‘Sell’ rating. Twelve-month price targets range from a Street-high $18 to a low of $10. The median target sits at $14 – 3.4% below Tuesday’s closing price of $14.50.
Technical Outlook and Trading Tactics
Since bottoming out around $8 a share in late October, the share price has trended sharply higher. More recently, traders have booked profits ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings. This provides a “buy the dip” opportunity for active traders.
Look for entry points at the $14 level, where the price finds support from a four-month uptrend line. In terms of trade management, consider placing a stop-loss order beneath the 50-day simple moving average (SMA). Think about booking profits on a retest of pre-pandemic high at $17.59.
For a look at today’s earnings schedule, check out our earnings calendar.