(Reuters) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to break in two, separating its computer and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The company plans to announce the move as early as Monday, the Journal said in a report on its Web site that cited people familiar with the matter. The division would be made through a tax-free distribution of shares to stockholders next year, according to the report.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

HP and some of its investors have long considered such a move, the newspaper noted. As one of the older big computer companies, for several years HP directors have discussed ways to restructure to keep up with technology upstarts.

Company split-ups in which shares of new divisions were spun off to stockholders in the past have resulted in higher stock market returns for investors.