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Hewlett-Packard Shares Fall on Printer Slump Speculation

Hewlett-Packard Falls on Printer Slump View
The Hewlett-Packard Co. logo is displayed outside the company's HP Enterprise Services unit in Plano, Texas. Photographer: Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg

Hewlett-Packard Co. closed at the lowest level in more than seven years after a competitor in the printer market predicted a slowdown in corporate purchasing.

Hewlett-Packard fell 1.9 percent to $18.98 in New York. The stock dropped 26 percent this year through today.

Printer-maker Lexmark International Inc. cut its second-quarter sales and profit forecast yesterday, citing weaker demand from customers in Europe and unfavorable exchange rates. Lexmark said the trends would probably affect results in the second half of the year as well.

Hewlett-Packard got almost a fifth of revenue and more than a quarter of operating profit from its printing unit in the second quarter that ended in April. The company said in March it would combine its personal-computer unit with the printer division to help cut expenses amid declining sales and profit.

“Lexmark is really the driver in the weakness in Hewlett-Packard today,” said Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, based in New York. “Printing is one of the most important pieces of Hewlett-Packard’s market as a company, and people don’t want to upgrade their printers.”

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