Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 6
BACK NEXT
Hewlett-Packard
Debt as a % of capital: 12%
Return on capital: 19.5%

Hewlett-Packard made headlines when it announced plans to buy systems management and services provider Electronic Data Systems for about $14 billion in cash.

The acquisition is CEO Mark Hurd's bet that expanding HP's presence in the lucrative services business will help the company outflank its main rival, IBM.

Hurd has been credited with turning HP around since he took over in 2005. Indeed, the company's stock has more than doubled since he has been in charge. And in HP's latest fiscal year, profits grew 17% to $7.26 billion.

Under Hurd's leadership, HP has solidified its lead over rival computer-maker Dell. What's more, HP also outsold Sun Microsystems and IBM in the server market.

To be sure, there has been some skepticism about the EDS deal. But given Hurd's success over the past three years, Shaw Wu of American Technology Research thinks Hurd will work his magic on EDS

"It's not a slam dunk but I wouldn't discount him," he said.

NEXT: National Oilwell Varco

Last updated June 20 2008: 1:08 PM ET
More Galleries
10 of the best beaches near airports Wait out your layover in the transit lounge? Or grab some sun, sand and surf? More
World's Top Employers for New Grads For an exclusive CNNMoney list, research firm Universum Global surveyed business students at colleges around the world to see where they most want to work. More
A White House press briefing as told by CNN's sketch artist The White House started banning cameras during some briefings, so CNN sent in sketch artist Bill Hennessy. More

Special Offer