Market Overview

Hewlett-Packard Shares Tank on Autonomy Accounting Fraud

Hewlett-Packard Shares Tank on Autonomy Accounting Fraud

Shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) traded sharply lower on Tuesday, down over 11 percent, after the company disclosed that there had been accounting irregularities at Autonomy prior to Hewlett-Packard acquiring the company.

Hewlett-Packard acquired Autonomy in October of 2011 for about $10.2 billion. Now, with the fraud, Hewlett-Packard said it would take a charge of $8.8 billion.

Lost in the shuffle was Hewlett-Packard's earnings: the company reported an earnings per share (EPS) figure of $1.16, more than the $1.14 that was expected on revenue of $29.96 billion, slightly below the $30.49 billion that was anticipated.

Hewlett-Packard also provided guidance for the fiscal-year. The company said it expected to post an EPS of $3.40-3.60, and an EPS for the first quarter of between $0.68 and $0.71, less than the $0.85 that was expected.

Now trading in the $11 range, shares of Hewlett-Packard are around a 10-year low.

Hewlett-Packard has steadily shed market cap in recent months, as two of its major sectors -- PCs and printers -- have experienced a secular decline.

Short seller and hedge fund magnate Jim Chanos pointed to Hewlett-Packard in the summer as a “value trap” -- a company that looked to be trading at an inexpensive valuation, but in reality would continue to trade lower.

Renowned value investor Seth Klarman had taken a stake in the Dow component, but a recent 13F filing showed that Klarman had dumped most of his shares.

On the earnings call, Hewlett-Packard's CEO Meg Whitman said that the turnaround was working, but would be a multiyear journey, and that HP's business environment would continue to be challenging.

In terms of Autonomy, she described it as a “work in progress.”

Shares of Hewlett-Packard traded near $11.70 in the pre-market on Tuesday.

Posted-In: Earnings M&A News Short Sellers Guidance Hedge Funds Legal Management Best of Benzinga


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