* BMO, RBC, UBS, Evercore, JPM and Jefferies raise price
* Shares up 4.4 pct before the bell
* Analysts still cautious amid PC downturn
Feb 22 Hewlett-Packard Co shares are set
to open more than 4 percent higher after better-than-expected
quarterly results that prompted at least six brokerages to raise
price targets on the stock, although analysts said problems at
the world's No.1 PC maker were far from over.
HP on Thursday reported second-quarter results and forecasts
above Wall Street expectations as it cut costs under Chief
Executive Meg Whitman's turnaround plan in the face of falling
PC sales and slowing corporate IT spending.
"Although a number of businesses remain under pressure, the
company's blocking and tackling is improving, and the likelihood
of the bottom falling out appears diminished," UBS Investment
Research analyst Steven Milunovich said in a note.
Milunovich upgraded his rating on the company to "neutral"
and raised the price target on the stock to $17 from $12.
HP, like other PC makers, has been hammered as consumers
turn to tablets and other mobile devices. In addition, the
company has suffered internal turmoil with a failed spin-off
attempt, a botched acquisition and two CEOs losing their jobs.
HP shares, trading at $17.90 before the bell on Friday, have
gained around 20 percent since the beginning of the year, helped
partly by a buyout offer for rival Dell Inc. They
closed at $17.1 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Mark Moskowitz, who raised
his price target on HP stock by $1 to $22, said the company's
results and outlook signaled that the worst may be over, but
added that there was room for plenty of work to be done.
Whitman, who took over the reins at HP over a year ago,
plans to cut an estimated 29,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of
the workforce, over the next two years. She has also reversed a
decision to spin off HP's PC division.
Jefferies & Co, RBC Capital Markets, Evercore Partners and
BMO Capital Markets also increased their price targets on the PC
(Reporting by Himank Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Rodney
Joyce and Ted Kerr)