/// HP Beats Street Amid Sales Declines, Takes $8.8 Billion Charge
Hewlett-Packard’s Q4 results just crossed the wires, and they’re bad, but but quite as bad as some of the more cynical had expected. The good news: Earnings per share were $1.16, beating the consensus view of $1.14. The bad news is that sales, at $30 billion, were a half-billion dollars off the consensus. Again, not as bad as some analysts had worried . Also every major major business segment reported sales declines, some of them significant. HP also said it will take an $8.8 billion charge in order to clean up “serious accounting improprieties at Autonomy. This the the British software firm that HP acquired for nearly $12 billion in cash and debt under prior CEO Léo Apotheker. This is worse than the $8 billion charge recorded in August for the write-down in Goodwill on EDS. HP said the charge had to do with “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy that occurred prior to HP’s acquisition of Autonomy and the associated impact of those improprieties, failures and misrepresentations on the expected future financial performance of the Autonomy business over the long-term.” You and guess there will be a lot of questions about that on the conference call. That makes nearly $17 billion in charges HP has taken on companies acquired by prior management. And it just keeps getting better. Here’s HP’s guidance for Q1 2013: EPS will be in the range of 68 to 71 cents versus a consensus of 85 cents. HP shares are looking to open lower and are already trading down by more than 3 percent in pre-market trading, essentially erasing the gain they made yesterday. Update: Now its more than 10 percent.
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HP Beats Street Amid Sales Declines, Takes $8.8 Billion Charge