Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Friday. They currently have $19.00 price target on the technology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Estimates for Hewlett Packard have remained stable of late. We are encouraged by the company’s massive restructuring initiatives. On one hand, it is offloading low-margin businesses such as Enterprise Services and Software, which, in our opinion, will improvise the company’s margins over the long run. And on the other hand, it is enhancing its capabilities in the hybrid IT model as evident from the acquisitions of SimpliVity, Cloud Cruiser and Nimble Storage. We believe that the company’s focus on hybrid IT model will drive growth over the long run. Furthermore, Hewlett Packard’s announcement of returning $7 billion to shareholders by fiscal 2019 is also encouraging. Moreover, the stock has outperformed the industry in the year-to-date period.”

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A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on HPE. Deutsche Bank upped their price objective on shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise from $16.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. They issued a neutral rating and a $16.00 price objective for the company. OTR Global downgraded shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise to a positive rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Loop Capital raised shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 20th. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $17.00 price objective (up from $14.00) on shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $17.38.

NYSE:HPE opened at $16.70 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The stock has a market cap of $26,168.90, a PE ratio of 17.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 1.86. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has a one year low of $12.69 and a one year high of $19.48.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The technology company reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $7.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.07 billion. Hewlett Packard Enterprise had a net margin of 4.52% and a return on equity of 7.40%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.45 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Hewlett Packard Enterprise will post 1.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 4th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 13th will be paid a $0.1125 dividend. This represents a $0.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.69%. This is a boost from Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s payout ratio is presently 31.25%.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 22nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $5.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the technology company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Philip Davis sold 16,405 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.51, for a total transaction of $303,656.55. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,665 shares in the company, valued at approximately $104,859.15. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Margaret C. Whitman sold 674,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.14, for a total transaction of $12,900,360.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 2,167,693 shares in the company, valued at $41,489,644.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 4,395,913 shares of company stock worth $78,549,177. Corporate insiders own 1.18% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 5,602,984 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $82,420,000 after buying an additional 45,636 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise by 23.4% during the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,015,577 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $14,584,000 after buying an additional 192,576 shares in the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its stake in shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise by 9.7% during the 3rd quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 1,317,840 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $19,385,000 after buying an additional 116,925 shares in the last quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC lifted its stake in shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise by 13.6% during the 4th quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 5,953,943 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $85,497,000 after buying an additional 710,629 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise by 8.2% during the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 13,164,978 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $189,050,000 after buying an additional 998,236 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.00% of the company’s stock.

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About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company is a provider of technology solutions. The Company’s segments include: Enterprise Group, Software, Financial Services and Corporate Investments. The Enterprise Group segment provides its customers with the technology infrastructure they need to optimize traditional information technology (IT).

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