Rising sales let Hewlett overcome scandal

Article Excerpt

HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. $41 (New York symbol HPQ; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; WSSF Rating: Above average) has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle civil charges brought against the company’s former chair and other individuals, after they were accused of unlawfully spying on other directors and journalists. The settlement is less than 1% of the $1.7 billion or $0.60 a share that Hewlett earned in its fourth fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2006. Despite the scandal, the stock has held up well. Sales of Hewlett’s computers, printers and digital cameras continue to grow. The company also feels it still has plenty of room to drive down costs. It will probably earn $2.51 a share in fiscal 2007, and the stock trades at just 16.3 times that estimate. Hewlett-Packard is a buy. buy…

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