May 28, 2020, 10:03 a.m. EDT

HP stock downgraded at J.P. Morgan amid challenges with printer business

Shares of HP Inc. (NYS:HPQ) are off more than 10% in Thursday trading after the company reported earnings that showed growth in notebooks but continued challenges in the printer business. The results prompted a downgrade from J.P. Morgan analyst Paul Coster, who lowered his rating to neutral from overweight and cut his price target by a buck to $20. "Mostly it is continued weakness in the printing business that should draw attention of the skeptics," he wrote. "For the bulls, the more disappointing fallout from this quarter is management's unsurprising decision to postpone use of leverage in an expanded share buy-back, as outlined in the previously-initiated 'Value Creation Plan.'" Coster said that it's "understandable" for HP to delay these planned leveraged buybacks due to heightened uncertainty, but he argued that there "isn't much reason to add to positions" through the end of the year without this catalyst, as HP is expected to face tough comparisons in its personal systems business during the second half of the year and sustained declines in printing. HP shares are down 26% over the past three months as the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has added 3%.

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