Sell HP Inc. shares as PC sales come under pressure, Wells Fargo says in downgrade

HP Inc. is in trouble, according to Wells Fargo. The firm downgraded the laptop maker to underweight from equal weight and cut its price target to $30 from $35. The new target implies roughly 15% downside from Thursday’s close of $35.23. Shares were down 3.55% in premarket trading Friday. “While we maintain a positive view on HP Inc.’s strong FCF and continued execution on driving toward a richer portfolio mix (commercial PCs, consumer premium / gaming, and peripherals), we see deteriorating PC fundamentals and macroeconomic sensitivity in HP’s printer results,” Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers wrote in a note Friday. The PC market had enjoyed a boom during the pandemic, but worldwide PC shipments are now on pace to decline 9.5% this year, according to research firm Gartner . High inflation and supply chain disruptions are among the reasons for the fall. In his note, Rakers also questioned whether the pace of HP’s share repurchase agreement activity could slow as the company moves towards closing on its $3.3 billion acquisition of Poly and its net debt position is at an all-time high of $4.51 billion. HP is down 6.48% year to date, amid slowing demand for PCs. However, it is up almost 25% from 12 months ago, as of Thursday’s close. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

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