If HP wants to convince shareholders that it can afford to reject Xerox’s $33bn acquisition bid it will need a better argument than its latest set of quarterly results. A teeny revenue rise does nothing to strengthen the US printer and personal computer maker’s case that it should be left alone.

Fellow printer maker Xerox wants to buy bigger rival HP for $22 a share, a 20% premium to HP’s undisturbed share price. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns shares in both companies, is pushing for the partnership. Markets like the idea too. Xerox and HP have added nearly $4bn to their combined market value since the offer was announced.

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