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.

Old HP sets breakup example for new HP

September 19, 2013

Agilent is considered by Silicon Valley veterans as the “real Hewlett-Packard.” Spun off in 1999 with the company’s original testing products and research DNA, it has outperformed its former parent and is now splitting to create yet more value. HP can learn from its progeny.

Plummeting BlackBerry would stain any buyout

August 12, 2013

A clean balance sheet makes the $5.4 bln smartphone seller an enticing takeover candidate. Like Dell, it’s a tech icon in need of a turnaround. BlackBerry’s cash flow is worse, though, meaning leverage would be extra risky. And the Palm precedent should scare corporate buyers.

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.

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.

Mike Lynch should try to buy Autonomy back

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.

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.

Meg Whitman is unjustifiable choice for HP

September 23, 2011

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

HP stock sell-off looks like overkill

August 19, 2011

The selloff in Hewlett-Packard shares looks like overkill.

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."