(HPQ) Hewlett-Packard Unveils New Printer for Small & Medium Businesses

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) has always remained pro-active on the SMB (small & medium businesses) front. Recently, the tech monster enriched its much coveted printer portfolio with the launch of LaserJet Pro 100 color MFP M175nw, which is targeted at the business needs of SMBs.

The newest printer in the family is smaller in size. It features “automatic on/off and instant on” technologies, which will conserve energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The printer can also be connected to the Internet through Ethernet as well as wireless options. So users can take printouts from remote locations via smartphones, notebooks or other mobile gadgets.

HP has integrated these advanced printing technologies in its new printer and has made it more pocket friendly for SMBs. The new HP LaserJet Pro 100 promises superior quality prints in no time and at lower cost. Apart from printing, the printer allows scanning and copying. HP with such an economical tool expects to happily capitalize on the demand for printers in the segment.

Apart from PCs, HP also leads the printer market. The company has also entered into the 3D (three dimensional) printer market through a partnership with Stratasys Inc. (SSYS), thereby making its position more enviable.

HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) witnessed revenue growth of 5.0% year over year with 17.0% growth in operating margin in the recently concluded second quarter. Management commented that IPG continued to deliver strong performance with share gains in all printing categories. Total printer unit shipments increased 12.0%, with commercial and consumer printer units up 41.0% and 4.0%, respectively. IPG continued to drive innovation and momentum with the new ePrint platform, graphic arts and other commercial print solutions.

Despite the company’s market position and compelling product line, we remain cautious about future growth, especially as competition from other big technology players, such as Cisco Systems (CSCO), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Acer, Microsoft Corp (MSFT), and Dell Inc. (DELL) heats up. Moreover, the natural disaster in Japan may dampen HP’s growth prospects in the near term.

Currently, Hewlett Packard has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

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