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Credit Suisse Hikes HP to Outperform from Neutral

Credit Suisse Group upgraded Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to outperform from neutral, after the technology giant posted quarterly results late Wednesday.

HP had 48 cents earnings per share (EPS) in the first quarter ended Jan. 31, compared to 37 cents during the same period of 2004.

Analyst Andrew McCullough expects to see the company benefit throughout 2006 and into 2007 from factors such as continued restructuring-related cost savings. He says the company's first quarter EPS compared favorably to guidance of 42 cents to 44 cents EPS, and Street consensus estimates of 44 cents. He thinks the company's personal computer and printing businesses drove its top line, while its operating margins came in ahead of his expectations. He raises his $1.80 fiscal year 2006 (ending October) EPS estimate to $1.96, his $2.10 fiscal year 2007 estimate to $2.25, and his $30 stock price target to $40.

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