This morning, news on Wall Street is centering around Warren Buffett’s latest deal. Today, the investing legend announced a 11.4% stake in HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ). Yes, that’s the electronics producer formerly known as the Hewlett-Packard Company. As of now, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B) owns 121 million shares of HPQ stock worth roughly $4.2 billion. However, that doesn’t mean the investor bought HP stock.
As can be expected, this news has shot HPQ stock into the green. Shares rose 15% in pre-market trading and haven’t stopped climbing upward. As of this writing, the stock is up more than 15% as well and poised to go even higher.
This gain proves once again that many people want to invest like Warren Buffett. But if you’re looking for a similar play today, make sure you’ve got the right HP in your crosshairs. That’s because several other companies have similar trading symbols — and they’re all in the green this morning.
The confusion is understandable. So, let’s break each company down.
HPQ, HPE and HP Stock: A Tale of Three Tickers
The Hewlett-Packard Company is an iconic name in the tech world. But it doesn’t actually exist anymore. In late 2015, the company split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE). These two firms have different leadership and provide different services. More importantly, though, they trade on the New York Stock Exchange as separate companies with different ticker symbols. Buffett’s new stake is in HPQ stock, not HPE.
Adding to this confusion is petroleum driller Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP). Although its ticker symbol is HP, the company has no real connection to either of the well-known tech firms. Yet, like HPE stock, HP stock is also in the green this morning. Both HPE and HP’s gains are much smaller, likely riding the momentum generated by heavy interest in HPQ.
Ticker confusion is not unheard of. In early 2020, investors attempted to load up on breakout stock Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM). However, some investors confused the video-call company with penny stock ZOOM Technologies (OTCMKTS:ZTNO). The resulting frenzy was so great that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had to halt trading of the latter stock.
What It Means
Buffett’s investment in HPQ comes after a successful first quarter. For Q1, the company reported that commercial computer sales grew 26% year-over-year (YOY). Meanwhile, printer sales grew 9% YOY. Although it has seen a turbulent past month, HPQ stock has also managed to stay in the green.
Now, today’s news is renewing retail and institutional interest even more. It certainly seems like a good time to buy HPQ stock. If you’re considering following Buffett’s lead, though, make sure the HP you’re buying is the correct one. That’s not to say that HPE or HP stock are necessarily bad investments — they’re just not the companies Berkshire Hathaway has taken a position in.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.