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A revival at HP will take time, something that HP CEO Meg Whitman has repeatedly stressed during her first 11 months on the job.

“Make no mistake about it: We are still in the early stages of a turnaround,” Whitman told analysts during a conference call last week.

The problems Whitman is trying to fix were inherited from Apotheker and Hurd.

HP hired Apotheker after he was dumped by his previous employer. He lasted less than a year as HP’s CEO _ just long enough to engineer an $11 billion acquisition of business software maker Autonomy, another poorly performing deal that is threatening to lump HP with another huge charge.

Before Apotheker, Hurd won praise for cutting costs during his five-year reign at HP, but Marshall believes HP was too slow to respond to the mobile computing, cloud computing and Big Data craze that began to unfold under Hurd’s watch. HP also started its costly shopping spree while Hurd was CEO.

How much further will HP and Dell fall before they hit bottom?

HP’s revenue has declined in each of the past four quarters, compared with the same period a year earlier, and analysts expect the trend to extend into next year. The most pessimistic scenarios envision HP’s annual revenue falling from about $120 billion this year to $90 billion toward the end of this decade.

The latest projections for PC sales also paint a grim picture. The research firm IDC now predicts PC shipments this year will increase by less than 1 percent, down from its earlier forecast of 5 percent.

Whitman is determined to offset the crumbling revenue by trimming expenses. She already is trying to lower annual costs by $3.5 billion during the next two years, mostly by eliminating 27,000 jobs, or 8 percent of HP’s workforce.

Marshall expects Whitman’s austerity campaign to enable HP to maintain its annual earnings at about $4 per share, excluding accounting charges, for the foreseeable future.

If HP can do that, Marshall believes the stock will turn out to be a bargain investment, even though he isn’t expecting the business to grow during the next few years. The shares dropped 37 cents Monday to finish at $17.21, HP’s lowest closing price in eight years.

One of the main reasons that Marshall still likes HP’s stock at this price is because of the company’s quarterly dividend of 13.2 cents per share. That translates into a dividend yield of about 3 percent, an attractive return during these times of puny interest rates.

Dell’s stock looks less attractive, partly because its earnings appear to still be dropping. The company, which is based in Round Rock, Texas, signaled its weakness last week, when it lowered its earnings projection for the current fiscal year by 20 percent.

Dell executives also indicated that the company is unlikely to get a sales lift from the Oct. 26 release of Microsoft Corp.’s much-anticipated makeover of its Windows operating system. That’s because Dell focuses on selling PCs to companies, which typically take a long time before they decide to switch from one version of Windows to the next generation.

Dell shares slipped to a new three-year low of $11.10 in Monday trading before closing at $11.12, down 14 cents.

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