Recent weeks have been plagued by foreign conflicts which have push markets back and forth between steep losses and quick rebounds. First, a revolution in Egypt which lasted for several weeks, led to President Mubarak relinquishing his position in what was considered a major win for social rights and democracy in the country. This movement has inspired others to rebel in nations like Bahrain and Libya, the latter of which, is reportedly on the brink of a civil war thanks to the refusal of their own strongman to step down from his multi-decade rule. In light of these well documented movements, major U.S. indexes have been on a roller coaster ride as of late, spending one day up, only to fall the next day. While issues overseas have had a major impact on domestic companies, the tail end of earnings season will still act as a major market mover for the nation as well [see also Middle East ETFs Under Pressure As Protests Intensify].
Yesterday after market close, the technology giant Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reported earnings from their most recent fiscal quarter. HP is based in Palo Alto California, and was started out of a one car garage by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The firm now does business in numerous countries, specializing in information technology products such as data storage, networking software, laptops, and printers. HP’s current market cap is sitting at a handsome $105 billion while revenues for 2009 finished at $126 billion [see also Internet ETFs: Five Ways To Play].
Analysts predicted that the firm would report EPS of $1.29 with revenues just under $33 billion, but the company fell short. HP had either met or surpassed its past four earnings reports, but that was not the case in for Q1. Though the company reported strong EPS of $1.36, their revenues fell just shy of the forecasted figures. HP also raised their profit outlook for the year, but this was still below what analysts had predicted for the year. HP’s shares were down over 7% in after hours trading yesterday, in light of these poor marks [see also Five Facts About HOLDRS Every ETF Investor Must Know].
Thanks to this major earnings announcement, today’s ETF to watch will be the Internet Architecture HOLDR (IAH). This ETF features numerous big names from the tech sector, such as IBM, Apple, and Dell. Hewlett-Packard makes up 17.6% of IAH, meaning that it has a significant amount of control over how this fund will trade. IAH has had a strong 2011, gaining 8.3% while paying out a dividend yield just shy of 1%. Due to the downgraded guidance given by HP, expect this ETF to endure a rough trading day, as HP’s shares have already taken a tumble, a fact which could drag down the rest of the technology sector in Wednesday trading as well.
Disclosure: Photo courtesy of Gerd Müller. No positions at time of writing.