Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) is one of the most successful diversified technology companies in the world. The company has seen revenues decline slowly between the 2009-2010 fiscal years, but remains a strong competitor with other technology companies such as Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Sony (NYSE: SNE), and Lexmark (NYSE: LXK).
HPQ is the largest worldwide producer of personal computers, battling steadfastly against Dell’s aggressive and widely successful marketing campaigns. The majority of HP’s revenue comes from their printer and scanner hardware, and the earnings of this division of the company accounts for more than 50% of the company’s profits. Office supply retailers like Office Depot and Staples have begun to compete with HPQ by branding their own ink cartridges compatible with HP’s standard printers.
On April 29, 2010, Hewlett-Packard entered the smartphone market with the acquisition of the Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) corporation for 1 billion dollars and a stock price of 5 dollars per share. Palm mainly produces smartphones and tablets for enterprise clients and mobile carriers.
Hewlett-Packard was established in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, graduates in electrical engineering from Stanford University. The two had met through a college professor who acted as an advisor in the early years of the company. Among other projects, HP’s first successful product was the HP200A precision audio oscillator. The HP200A was deliberately priced to undercut competition, and the revenue earned from the oscillator drove the company into the future.
In the early 1960’s, HPQ contributed to the founding of the Silicon Valley. The company partnered alongside Sony and Yokogawa Electric to produce a series of products that were ultimately unsuccessful. After forming a smaller subsidiary company that would specialize in digital equipment, HP created the HP 3000. The 3000 was the first in a long line of business computing servers that solidified the company’s position as a major manufacturer of personal computer systems.
In the 1990’s, Hewlett Packard introduced their computer product line to consumers, launching their company into its present situation. HPQ created two separate divisions of their computer technology division: “home” and “office”. With a well-established image as a producer of top-quality personal computers, HP can be seen as one of the most successful companies in the United States. Today the HPQ stock price is lower than the early floatation years but still considered to be stable.
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