Is HP a train wreck or stabilizing?


When Hewlett-Packard Co.released another quarter of falling revenue plus a $5 billion write-off over a huge acquisition this week, its stock took an unsurprising dip to its lowest point since the fall of 2002.

But this morning it had gained a dime or so back as investors pondered the meaning of it all.

One way to look at things is that HP might have only suffered a $2 billion loss in the quarter instead of $7 billion had it not been forced to write off almost half the value it paid for British software company Autonomy last year.

Through that lens HP’s restructuring isn’t going too badly, reflecting the confidence in CEO Meg Whitman’s voice to financial analysts.

The other way, to look at things is, as one analyst told his clients HP is “an unmitigated train wreck.”
(HP CEO Meg Whitman)

Here are several takes at the situation:
Pete Carey at looks back at HP’s history of acquisitions and finds a number of them have gone sour. Think Palm, EDS and how long it took to get Compaq right.
Meanwhile ComputerWorld’s Chris Kanaracus totes up the winners and losers
(Editor’s note: There has been some confusion about the amount of write-off HP has taken over the Autonomy deal. In total for the just ended quarter it wrote off $8.8 billion. Of that $5 billion was attributed to Autonomy)


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