Prudential Cuts Hewlett-Packard Estimates

Analyst Steven Fortuna thinks the Street's consensus earnings estimate is too high

Prudential cut its estimate on Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ), and keeps the neutral rating.

Analyst Steven Fortuna says recent checks lead him to believe that for the second quarter, the current Street consensus earnings per share estimate of 34 cents is aggressive. He cut his estimate accordingly, to 33 cents. Fortuna says while demand is tracking about as expected, he hasn't seen a hint of upside two months into the second quarter, and says the large enterprise business is improving at a very gradual pace.

Also, Fortuna notes pricing continues to be aggressive across nearly all segments, and this seasonally soft quarter for PCs makes it unlikely that H-P will see higher unit volume. He cut the $1.46 fiscal 2004 (Oct.) earnings per share estimate to $1.40, and trimmed the $1.60 fiscal 2005 estimate to $1.58.