HP Inc. CEO defends stock buyback program, says it will continue because shares are undervalued

Business

HP Inc. CEO Enrique Lores told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday that the company is keeping its stock buyback program in place, contending it remains a good use of corporate cash even with shares up 18% over the past 12 months.

“We continue to believe the value of our shares is undervalued, and, therefore, that buying HP shares is a good investment for investors,” Lores said in a “Mad Money” interview after the company reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal 2022 first quarter, which ended Jan. 31.

Earnings per share of $1.10 beat Wall Street’s forecast by 8 cents, according to Refinitiv, while quarterly revenues of $17.02 billion eclipsed analyst projections of $16.5 billion. In addition, the company returned $1.8 billion to shareholders in the quarter, with $1.5 billion by way of stock buybacks, Lores said.

Lores’ comments came in response to Cramer’s inquiry about whether buying back stock “still makes sense all the way up here.” On Jan. 12, the stock hit its all-time high of $39.65 per share, but it’s come down a bit since then during a period of overall market volatility.

HP Inc. shares closed Monday’s session at $34.36 apiece, putting its year-to-date declines at nearly 9%.

“We have committed to buy at least $4 billion of shares this year,” Lores said. “We are going to continue to execute our plan because, again, we think it’s a good investment,” he added.

HP Inc. shares trade at 8.1 times forward earnings, according to FactSet, which is below their five-year average of 9.4. The stock also supports a 2.9% dividend yield, based on Monday’s closing price.

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