3 Stocks Plunging Today: Telefonica, HP, and Oracle


Markets aren't hopping this morning like many were expecting. Despite anti-bailout parties in Greece failing to secure a majority in parliament, U.S. and European markets are mixed today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is down 0.23% at noon EDT while the broader Europe STOXX 50 is off 1.17%.

Let's take a look at a trio of stocks in the technology space that are seeing some of the steepest drops today. Not surprisingly, European concerns are front and center for all three.

The Dow's biggest loser
Among Dow stocks, the biggest drop today comes courtesy of Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) , which is off 2.26%. The company gets about a third of its revenue from Europe, and is at the center of concerns that a European slowdown will curtail IT spending, especially on costly hardware projects.

When HP reported its first-quarter results earlier this year, Europe actually outperformed its Asian and American regions (albeit by seeing smaller sales declines from the previous year). However, when the company released second-quarter results, that situation reversed itself. HP's Europe, Middle East, and Africa segment was the company's worst performer, down 7% versus flat revenue growth in the Americas.

More hardware woes
Among big IT vendors, HP isn't alone in feeling the pain today. Oracle (NAS: ORCL) is off 3.3%, which erases gains the company saw on Friday. The company reports tonight, and its European situation looks precarious, too. Last quarter, the company reported license growth of 11% in the U.S. and its Pacific region, but saw European license growth come in flat.

Oracle doesn't look well prepared to handle unhealthy IT budgets with upcoming product refreshes and the costly nature of many of its systems. That being said, the company is trading at historically cheap levels and merits a look from long-term investors. The company now trades at just 10 times free cash flow.

The European drop
Finally, we come to Telefonica (NYS: TEF) , the Spanish telecom that has sunk 4% today. Yields on Spain's 10-year bonds rose past the crucial 7% mark today, which is a huge factor in what spooked investors. The company has been steadily increasing its presence in Latin America but still sees 28% of its sales from Spain and a majority of total sales from Europe.

The company also carries $75 billion in net debt, which isn't particularly uncommon for a telecom company under normal conditions. However, during unstable times that capital situation becomes an immense liability. Telefonica looks set to ride the waves of sentiment around Spain and the eurozone's future for the rest of the year.

Take the long-term view
All three of these tech companies are sagging today as Europe's woes dominate headlines. However, that's a situation that's not going away, and investors should do their best to diversify among top-notch dividend payers that could withstand any more shocks to the global economy. In our new free report introduced just this week, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need," our analysts outline the three Dow stocks with an X factor that makes them stand out from their illustrious peers. This is an opportunity to be one of the first to read this feature report, so click here now to secure your copy, completely free of charge.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Oracle is reporting earnings on Thursday.

At the time thisarticle was published Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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