Breakingviews

Meg Whitman at last splits Hewlett from Packard

October 6, 2014

The venerable tech conglomerate will cleave in two: a computer and printer business and a corporate hardware and services arm. Investors had baked in a breakup for ages, so there was only so much longer CEO Whitman could dawdle before losing control of HP’s narrative.

HP stock sell-off looks like overkill

August 19, 2011

The selloff in Hewlett-Packard shares looks like overkill.

Meg Whitman is unjustifiable choice for HP

September 23, 2011

Hewlett-Packard's board just can't get out of its own way.

HP would make lucrative Oracle target

October 3, 2011

Investors unimpressed by Hewlett-Packard's dysfunctional governance have sold off its shares, leaving the tech company vulnerable to a bid. And Larry Ellison's acquisitive Oracle is a credible potential suitor. At least financially, a deal would stack up. A Breakingviews analysis suggests that even paying a 40 percent premium, Oracle could reap a hefty return.

Mike Lynch should try to buy Autonomy back

By Chris Hughes
May 24, 2012

The software group’s founder is leaving HP months after the U.S. tech giant bought it for $11 bln. Other Autonomy execs had already gone. Having overpaid, HP is suffering the cultural woes of M&A. As for Lynch, he could yet exploit the mess to buy his baby back at a decent price.

A Hewlett-Packard primer on how not to do a deal

November 22, 2012

A $12 bln acquisition at a 64 pct premium should involve more due diligence than looking at public financial statements. Don’t ignore your CFO if she thinks the price is way too high. And never buy anything from Frank Quattrone. Breakingviews sketches out the don’ts.

HP breakup is on tech world’s 2013 agenda

December 6, 2012

The revered tech group represents the essence of Silicon Valley. But its era as an everything-to-everyone tech conglomerate is over. CEO Meg Whitman and the board won’t stick around for a five-year turnaround. Breaking up HP would be quicker, and could almost double its value.

Walter Hewlett could give HP its Steve Jobs moment

September 8, 2010

Oracle boss Larry Ellison may have given Hewlett-Packard some brilliant advice. Before snatching Mark Hurd to help run his software company this week, Ellison compared the board's decision to part ways with the HP CEO as "the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs."

Oracle shows off art of war by hiring Mark Hurd

September 7, 2010

Larry Ellison has launched another phase of his long-standing battle with Silicon Valley. A Sun Tzu admirer, the Oracle boss roundly mocked the board of rival Hewlett-Packard when it forced out Chief Executive Mark Hurd last month. By hiring Hurd, Ellison backed up his words. He not only gains a well-regarded operations guru, he follows the Chinese general's sixth-century BC dictum "Know your enemy."

HP tries big buyback to quell investor discontent

August 30, 2010

Sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Case in point: Hewlett-Packard. Like many tech concerns, it is sitting on a large cash pile. But the company's bidding war with Dell for control of 3PAR raises fears it may squander its $15 billion hoard on overpriced baubles. Promising to repurchase $10 billion of stock soothes investors. Refraining from such battles would be more effective.