/// After Two Turbulent Augusts, HP Shareholders Hope for an Uneventful One This Time
The last two times the computing giant Hewlett-Packard reported quarterly earnings in August, they amounted to two of the most infamous occasions in the company’s corporate history. Last August was the time that HP announced an $8 billion write-down for EDS , the enterprise services company it purchased years before. It was — before an $8.8 billion write-down for Autonomy the following quarter — the biggest accounting adjustment of its kind in the company’s history. The August before that was probably the most ignominious earnings/corporate shake-up announcement that HP ever issued. Then-CEO Léo Apotheker announced his intention to spin off HP’s personal computer division as a separate company, shut down the hardware operations of Palm, and acquire Autonomy. He also announced that the company had missed its earnings targets. Apotheker was out of a job within a month, and Meg Whitman was the new CEO. It’s unclear whether or not HP has any big surprises in store this August — it will report its Q3 results tomorrow after the close of markets in New York — but you can’t exactly say that expectations are running high. Analysts are expecting HP to report per-share earnings of 86 cents on sales of $27.3 billion. If it hits those numbers, sales would be down about eight percent from the year-ago period, while earnings would be down about 14 percent.
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After Two Turbulent Augusts, HP Shareholders Hope for an Uneventful One This Time