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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lexmark, Canon and Sigma-Aldrich

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lexmark, Canon and
                                Sigma-Aldrich

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 8, 2012

CHICAGO, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Hewlett-Packard Company
(NYSE:HPQ), IBM Corp (NYSE:IBM), Lexmark (NYSE:LXK), Canon (NYSE:CAJ) and
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (Nasdaq:SIAL).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit
from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

HP Projects Dull 2013

Computer maker Hewlett-Packard Company's (NYSE:HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman rang an
alarm for investors as she announced that fiscal 2013 earnings may be expected
to plunge over 10%.

The discouraging outlook also included possibilities of declining revenues in
every business division, apart from software. The announcement battered the
company's shares, which slumped 13.0% to close at $14.91 on Wednesday, the
lowest level since November 2002.

The company expects non-GAAP profit in the range of $3.40 to $3.60 per share
for fiscal 2013. Moreover, in GAAP terms, HP is expecting $2.10 to $2.30 a
share after charges of $1.30 per share.

Whitman said that investors should not expect a recovery until fiscal 2014,
when current investments would generate returns. She also said that high
executive turnover in recent years have dampened HP's business.

HP is particularly bearish on the enterprise business. The company projects
enterprise services revenue to decline 11.0% to 13.0% during fiscal 2013.
Operating margins are estimated to range from break even to 3.0%.

Some industry experts commented that the competitive PC market has pulled down
its margins significantly and reduction in IT spending is another headwind.
Also, a declining personal computer business has largely affected HP's
business activity.

HP's outlook looks particularly bleak when compared with that, IBM Corp
(NYSE:IBM), which raised its full-year 2013 earnings outlook.

Hewlett-Packard's third quarter 2012 earnings per share exceeded the Zacks
Consensus Estimate, but revenues declined compared with the year-ago period.
Results were negatively impacted by macroeconomic factors, lower order
renewal, a massive write-down charge and low bookings. However, we believe
that the restructuring initiatives taken up by the company is encouraging and
should improve margins going forward.

During the quarter the company took some major steps to focus on strategic
priorities. It is also taking innovative steps to manage costs, drive growth
and improve the health of its balance sheet.

On the other hand, the printer business looks challenging, with competitors
such as Lexmark (NYSE:LXK) and Canon (NYSE:CAJ) regularly coming up with new
products. In addition, the increasing availability of low-cost refilling
options for toners and cartridges poses a threat for HP. Also, margins in the
services business are likely to remain weak this year and the macroeconomic
trends continue to work against it.

Currently, HP has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

Sigma Intros Stem Cell Medium

Sigma Life Science, the innovative biological products and services research
wing of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (Nasdaq:SIAL), has announced the launch of
Stemline pluripotent culture medium, a human pluripotent stem cell culture
medium which provides a suitable environment for the long-term maintenance and
growth of healthy pluripotent stem cells.

Sigma-Aldrich stated that the Stemline pluripotent stem cell culture medium is
serum-free, consists of fully-defined components and has 80% less basic
fibroblast growth factor compared to the leading pluripotent stem cell culture
medium. This provides a favorable environment for long-term maintenance of
optimal growth rates, viability and pluripotency.

The stem cell research community usually complains of the high costs of media
for pluripotent stem cells. However, Sigma-Aldrich's Stemline pluripotent
culture medium performs as good as the leading medium for maintaining
pluripotency and optimal growth rates and is available at comparatively lower
costs than the conventional media.

It is also found that cultured pluripotent stem cells show all the established
pluripotency markers and maintain proper karyotype and the ability to
distinguish into each of the three germ layers. The novel Stemline media
strengthens Sigma-Aldrich's position as one of the largest global providers of
cell culture media.

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