HP alleges fraud in Autonomy deal
Hewlett-Packard forecast fiscal first-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates amid a continuing slump in personal computer sales.
Earnings excluding some items will be 68 cents to 71 cents a share for the period, which ends in January, the Palo Alto, California-based company said today in a statement.
Analysts on average had estimated profit of 85 cents a share.
Chief executive officer Meg Whitman is paring product lines and cutting staff to make the supplier of PCs, printers and data centre gear more competitive.
The company, once a hotbed of invention and the world's biggest PC maker, has suffered from declining sales and has been late to develop mobile and cloud computing products.
"They have a lot of deep-rooted problems," said Eric Maronak, chief investment officer at Victory Capital Management in New York, which owns Hewlett-Packard shares. "A lot of it is self inflicted."
The shares fell in early trading. Hewlett-Packard advanced 3.5 per cent to $13.30 at the close in New York yesterday, and is down 48 per cent this year.
The net loss in the fiscal fourth quarter was $6.85 billion, or $3.49 a share, compared with net income of $239 million, or 12 cents, a year earlier.
Results included an impairment charge of $8.8 billion from the acquisition of Autonomy, due to "accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations" that happened before Hewlett-Packard purchased the company.
Profit excluding some items was $1.16 a share, topping analysts's average $1.14 estimate.
Fourth-quarter sales fell to $30 billion. Analysts had projected revenue of $30.4 billion.
Hewlett-Packard, which gets more than a quarter of sales from PCs, is suffering as consumers and business users increasingly favour smartphones and tablets.
"The environment remains challenging for HP and other technology companies in the space," said Abhey Lamba, an analyst at Mizuho Securities USA.