After announcing this past August that it was considering a spin off of its PC business, HP confirmed on Thursday that it would keep its PC division. “HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG. It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees,” said HP CEO Meg Whitman in a statement. “HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger.” The initial announcement, which was delivered alongside news that HP was discontinuing its two-moth-old TouchPad tablet and putting an end to its webOS hardware efforts, caused the company’s stock to tumble. Shares of HP are up 1% in after-hours trading following today’s announcement.
HP’s newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman said the company will decide this month whether or not it is going to spin off its personal systems group (PSG). “We have to make a final decision about what to do with the PC division,” Whitman said. “It’s a decision I want to make much faster than my predecessor. I want to make it before the end of October.” HP’s former CEO Léo Apotheker originally said the verdict would be determined by 2012. Earlier this month, the company’s chairman Ray Lane explained he will “lobby” to keep HP’s personal systems group if his firm “can’t offer a better proposition to customers and investors.” Lane explained HP will likely still call the PSG group “HP PC Business” even if a spin off does occur, and he said the PC business may be more successful outside of its parent company because it is on a different track than HP’s enterprise business. More →
In a recent interview with CRN, HP chairman Ray Lane outlined situations in which HP may hang on to its PC business. “If we don’t make that decision [to spin off], it’s because of two things: We can’t offer a better proposition to customers and investors,” Lane said. “If we can’t it stays inside HP.” If the company does decide to spin-off its personal systems group, Lane has suggested the company call it the “HP PC Business.” HP has the “largest and most profitable [PC] business in the world,” Lane explained during the InformationWeek 500 conference in California. “I am lobbying, and I don’t have to lobby very hard, to call it the HP PC Business. Call it HP. It will be a sister company,” Lane explained, pointing to HP’s spinoff of Agilent. “Agilent was a better business once spun off, because it was a very different business from what the rest of HP was doing.” Read on for more. More →
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a letter to subscribers on Monday stated that Netflix will no longer operate the DVD rental-by-mail service that carried it to the top of the home entertainment industry. Instead, Netflix will be a streaming-only service while the DVD rental business — which will soon add video games to its portfolio — is spun off and rebranded Qwikster. “I messed up. I owe you an explanation,” Hastings’ letter to Netflix customers begins. “It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.” The chief executive continued, attempting to clarify that streaming is the company’s future and this is why it began the process of separating its two services last year. The spin-off of Qwikster as a DVD rental business is the last step in that process, and while investors aren’t terribly happy with the company right now, the move allows Netflix to concentrate on its future: streaming content. Hastings’ full letter to subscribers follows below. More →
Research firm Canalys recently sent a note to its clients that suggested HP might have better luck spinning off its PC business if it revived its webOS-powered TouchPad tablet. Canalys said the TouchPad could boost the value of HP’s computer division by as much as twofold, given the recent popularity of the tablet at its lower $99 price point. “The TouchPad was overpriced at launch and did not sell,” Canalys said in a note Thursday. “This led HP to draw a premature conclusion that the product category had failed.” Of course, the “hype” surrounding HP’s tablet likely had little to do with the tablet itself. Instead, a retail rush resulted from a fire sale and the media’s coverage of that sale. Read on for more. More →
It remains to be seen whether Hewlett-Packard’s upcoming overhaul will pay off in the long run, but one things seems clear: the manner in which HP revealed its plans was ill-conceived at best. HP’s announcements sent its stock tumbling, and analysts continue to lose faith in the company as unrest builds. In a note to investors on Thursday, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani cut his rating on HP stock to Sector Perform from Outperform, and he lowered his price target $5 to $30. Daryanani says HP’s announcement that it may spin off or sell its PC business “will accelerate the deterioration of HP’s brand and asset value,” and he thinks competitors will gain market share as a result. The analyst also believes HP’s decision to kill off its webOS device business could devalue the company’s PC division if it opts for a sale. He thinks a quick sale would be a good move for HP, though he writes that a cut in company forecast or increased buybacks are also options. More →