Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) spent the first half of 2011 buying back a ton of stock amounting to a decent percentage of the outstanding shares. A signal typically that a company has a lot more free cash flow and cash on hand than the market is giving the company credit for having.
Unfortunately, this buyback pace didn't last even though the stock steadily declined in the 2nd half of 2011. So why did the buyback dwindle if the stock didn't gain in value? Nothing worse than a company that buys high and doesn't buy low.
It can be argued that with a new management team coming in that it was just a change of strategy not a signal of a change in fundamentals. This is possible as Meg Whitman became CEO in September 2011, but she was a board member since January 2011.
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