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US EQUITIES WEEK AHEAD: H-P's Results; Data On Homes, Goods

05/18/2012 | 03:16pm US/Eastern
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   By Nathalie Tadena 
   Of  
 

Hewlett-Packard Co. (>> Hewlett-Packard Company) is expected to post another quarter of weaker profits and revenue when the technology giant reports its fiscal second-quarter results next week.

Data on existing home sales and new home sales next week will provide the first look at the important spring home selling season, while data on durable goods will shed light on the factory sector.

Skincare products maker Tria Beauty Inc. and gaming hardware company Corsair Components Inc. are expected to go public next week.

 
   Hewlett-Packard To Report Earnings 
 

Investors will look signs of a turnaround at Hewlett-Packard Co. (>> Hewlett-Packard Company) when the No. 1 personal computer marker reports its latest quarterly results on Wednesday. In February, H-P reported its fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 44% as sales in its PC business remained weak and issued a downbeat outlook for the second quarter.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Hewlett-Packard plans to cut its workforce by 25,000 to 30,000 employees, citing people familiar with the matter, a record number for the venerable technology giant as it grapples with declining revenue and profits. One person said that a formal announcement could come when the company reports its quarterly results.

H-P has been in a state of near-constant turmoil since August 2010, when then-chief executive Mark Hurd resigned following an internal ethics probe. His successor, Leo Apotheker, tried to reorient H-P--the world's largest maker of personal computers and server systems--around software and "cloud" services offered over the Internet. His plan included spinning off the PC division, but he was fired a month later and replaced by Meg Whitman in September, who decided to keep the PC unit. Whitman has said she plans to cut costs and improve the performance of H-P's existing businesses.

Other companies due to report their latest quarterly results next week include Analog Devices Inc. (>> Analog Devices, Inc.), Best Buy Co. (>> Best Buy Co., Inc.), Costco Wholesale Corp. (>> Costco Wholesale Corporation), Lowe's Cos. (>> Lowe's Companies, Inc.) and Tiffany Co. (TIF).

 
   Homes, Hardgoods Reports Due Next Week 
 

The first look at the important spring home selling season is on tap next week, along with news from the durable goods sector.

The housing industry suffers from too much existing supply chasing too little demand. That's why new construction and prices have suffered. The question is whether improving consumer confidence and extremely low mortgage rates are enticing buyers to sign contracts.

Existing home sales will be reported Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors. The median forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires is that resales increased in April to an annual rate of 4.60 million.

New home sales will be reported the next day. They are forecast to also rise, to a 335,000 pace.

Also on the calendar next week will be Thursday's durable goods. The median forecast is that orders increased a mere 0.3% in April, barely recouping any of the 4.0% tumble taken in March.

 
   Tria Beauty, Corsair Components Expected To Debut Next Week 
 

Tria Beauty and Corsair Components are both expected to begin trading on Thursday.

Tria, which creates at-home, light-based skincare products such as a hair removal laser and a skin clarifying system that uses blue-light therapy for mild to moderate inflammatory acne, expects its initial public offering of 4.6 million common shares to price between $13 and $15 a share. The company had filed plans in January to fund sales and marketing initiatives, research and development activities, debt repayment and other general corporate purposes. The company intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol TRIA.

Corsair, which designs and supplies high-performance hardware components for personal computers and is primarily focused on gaming hardware, expects its 6 million shares to price between $12 and $14 a piece. It plans to use proceeds to pay down debt and for other general corporate purposes. The company plans to list its stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol CRSR.

   Catalyst Paper To Determine Restructuring Path 
 

On Wednesday, Catalyst Paper Corp.'s (CTLUQ) creditors will determine which path the paper and pulp producer's restructuring will take.

Secured and unsecured creditors alike will meet in Richmond, British Columbia, to vote on the Canadian company's restructuring plan, which is subject to the approval of Canadian and U.S. courts. The company sought the protection of both courts earlier this year.

If creditors don't vote in favor of the plan, Catalyst has a backup strategy: a sale to its lenders for $275 million, subject to higher bids at a court-supervised auction.

   NATO Summit To Focus On Afghanistan 
 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit will be held in Chicago on Sunday and Monday, the group's first summit in a U.S. city other than Washington.

President Barack Obama and leaders from dozens of other countries are expected to discuss plans for the war in Afghanistan and to announce the completion of the first phase of a Europe-based missile-defense system.

At an Oval Office meeting Wednesday, Obama and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen agreed the summit would be a time "reaffirm allied commitment to the transition framework" and a move from a combat role to support for "sufficient and sustainable Afghan forces."

 
   Conferences 
 

Among the significant conferences next week are B. Riley & Co Investor Conference Monday through Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif.; Deutsche Bank Global Financial Services Investor Conference Monday through Friday in New York; Janney Consumer Conference Monday and Tuesday in Boston; Barclays Capital Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in New York; Citi Global Consumer Conference Tuesday through Thursday in New York; UBS Global Oil and Gas Conference Monday through Thursday in Austin; and Wolfe Trahan & Co. Global Transportation Conference Tuesday and Wednesday in New York.

-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

--Ben Worthen, Kathleen Madigan, Jacqueline Palank and Dow Jones Newswires staff contributed to this article.

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