HP (HPQ), which until last week was just a boring underperforming tech company, has become a lot more interesting lately. Ever since HP accused IT software firm Autonomy of committing fraud prior to its acquisition in 2011, Autonomy founder Mike Lynch has been hopping mad and has accused HP of smearing his company’s good name to make up for its own incompetence. Now HP has shot back today, claiming that it has “uncovered extensive evidence of a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers.” More →
And here come the lawsuits. Bloomberg reports that HP (HPQ) investors have unsurprisingly decided to sue the company over the $8.8 billion write off related to its 2011 acquisition of enterprise IT firm Autonomy. The complaint against HP “was filed today in federal court in San Francisco by the law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP,” Bloomberg writes. HP last week surprised the tech world when it alleged that Autonomy had committed accounting fraud before its acquisition by HP and said it would seek to press criminal charges. Former Autonomy founder Mike Lynch quickly shot back at HP and said that the company was unjustly smearing his firm to cover up for its own incompetence.
Autonomy founder Mike Lynch is still hopping mad at HP’s (HPQ) accusations that his former company committed accounting fraud. In a new interview with Business Insider, Lynch accuses HP of conducting a “complete ambush” and says that he will not be the “scapegoat” for the company’s purported poor business decisions. Lynch also said that the $8.8 billion write off HP reported for its Autonomy acquisition was a smokescreen for deeper problems at the company and said that “they tried to blame it on the accounting but obviously something else is going on.” Lynch told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that he found it suspicious that HP would level accusations against his former company at the same time it released “the worst set of results in their 70 year company history.”
Congratulations, HP (HPQ) — this is the most interesting you’ve been in years! The New York Times reports that Deloitte, the firm whose work auditing software company Autonomy was cited by HP CEO Meg Whitman on Tuesday to justify fraud allegations, is denying that it ever found any scrap of evidence to indicate Autonomy had cooked its books. The company specifically said that it conducted its “audit work in full compliance with regulation and professional standards” and “categorically denies that it had any knowledge of any accounting improprieties or misrepresentations in Autonomy’s financial statements.” Whitman on Tuesday said that she didn’t blame Deloitte for not reporting Autonomy’s alleged fraud because it was hard to detect and HP only discovered it “after someone came forward to point us in the right direction.”
Autonomy founder Mike Lynch isn’t taking accusations that his former company swindled HP (HPQ) lying down. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lynch says he was completely blindsided by HP’s announcement this morning that it would seek criminal charges against his former company for alleged “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations.” Not only does Lynch flatly deny all of HP’s charges, but he says that the company is lying about Autonomy to cover up its own financial mismanagement after it bought Autonomy back in 2011. More →
HP (HPQ) is still being haunted by the stench of former CEO Léo Apotheker. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apotheker, “who orchestrated” HP’s purchase of enterprise IT firm Autonomy, is “both stunned and disappointed” to hear that the company committed alleged accounting fraud that forced HP to write off $8.8 billion. But despite this, Apotheker defended his tenure at HP and said that he did his due diligence in checking out Autonomy’s accounting. Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, for his part, has denied any wrongdoing. More →
HP says it had to write off $8.8 billion in Q4 because acquired IT company lied about its books [updated]
HP (HPQ) has gotten pretty used to writing off losses in recent quarters, and the company on Tuesday announced that it would incur yet another mammoth write off of $8.8 billion linked to its 2011 acquisition of enterprise information technology firm Autonomy. What makes this latest write off particularly interesting is that HP says that the “majority of this impairment charge is linked to serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy… that occurred prior to HP’s acquisition.” Put even more bluntly, HP says it will write off $8.8 billion because Autonomy lied about its finances. Earlier this year, HP also took an $8 billion charge related to its 2008 acquisition of Electronic Data Systems. HP’s press release follows below.
UPDATE: Business Insider reports that former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch “flatly rejects” HP’s charges that his former company committed accounting fraud during his tenure.
Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Windows RT operating system is no stranger to criticism and while BGR’s review of the new Surface tablet was favorable, the device was not well received in other early reviews. Executives at Microsoft’s partner companies have been outspoken about the Surface as well, and HP’s (HPQ) PC boss Todd Bradley joined in during a recent interview with CITE World. More →
According to third quarter estimates from research firm Gartner, Lenovo (LNVGY) has edged out Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to become the world’s largest PC vendor. Worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter declined more than 8% year-over-year to total 87.5 million units. The Chinese company is estimated to have shipped 13.7 million units in the quarter, representing a 9.8% year-over-year increase, compared to HP with shipments that declined more than 16% to 13.5 million units. In a statement to The Verge, however, the Palo Alto-based company claims Gartner’s report is less “comprehensive” due to its exclusion of workstations. HP instead points to rival research firm IDC and its estimates, which rank the company less than half a percentage point ahead of Lenovo. Worldwide PC shipments in 2012 are set to decline for the first time in over a decade as consumers embrace smartphones and tablets. IDC’s estimates follow below. More →
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu on Friday downgraded his recommendation of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to neutral, noting that the company is worthless and its stock should be valued at negative $2, Business Insider reported. The analyst called the company’s balance sheet “a mess” and said its was “fortunate the stock’s not zero.” More →
After taking the wraps off Open webOS 1.0 last Friday, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has posted job listings for engineers in Shanghai, China and Sunnyvale, California, The Power Base reports. A total of 53 job listings have been made public. Positions include senior Linux software engineers, senior visual designer, senior product manager and many more. The Power Base says that these are high-paying positions and it shows HP is serious about reviving webOS as an open source operating system.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman on Wednesday revealed that the struggling PC company will not be releasing a new smartphone in the coming year. The announcement came during a meeting with analysts where the executive reaffirmed her previous statements that HP will eventually offer another handset to avoid falling behind the curve, Computer World reported. More →
HP (HPQ) has been in trouble for a while now, and the company on Wednesday warned investors and analysts that things wouldn’t be getting better anytime soon. Per Business Insider, HP told attendees at a company analyst meeting today that “HP’s profit forecast for FY 2013 comes in at $3.40-$3.60 per share, below $4.16 average estimates.” But what’s more ominous is that HP said analysts should expect a “broad-based profit decline” in the near term, with the company’s revenues expected to be “growing in line with gross domestic product” by 2016. HP said that while it had already gone through some painful layoffs and write-offs over the past couple of years, the company wouldn’t fully complete its restructuring program until 2014. More →