Tech wrap: HP investors running for cover

August 19, 2011

Shares of Hewlett-Packard slumped by more than 20 percent to a six-year low on Friday as investors wiped about $16 billion off the market value of the world’s biggest PC maker in a resounding rejection of its plan for a major shake-up.

Blog Zero Hedge posted an article by Tyler Durden, titled “Here Is Who Is Getting Creamed On Today’s Hewlett Packard Bloodbath“, that includes a chart of the the top 40 holders of HPQ stock.

Reuters blogger Felix Salmon credits Durden with breaking the “real” news yesterday about HP, after Bloomberg broke the M&A news of the IT firm’s internal shakeup and it’s $10 billion acquisition of UK company Autonomy. Salmon on the scoop: “…looks like an attempt by HP to manage media coverage and to distract attention from its dreadful earnings guidance.”

Technology company Apple is now worth as much as the 32 biggest euro zone banks. That’s the stark result from a steep fall in the share price of banks including Spain’s Santander, France’s BNP Paribas, Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Italy’s Unicredit, compared to a steady rise in Apple’s valuation, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Earlier on Friday the DJ STOXX euro zone banks index fell 4 percent, valuing its 32 members at $340 billion. In contrast, Apple’s market capitalization has soared to $340 billion.

Wired contributor Steven Levy compares Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of mobile handset maker Motorola to the Internet search company’s Book Search Settlement.

NYT’s Bits blog reports the Federal Trade Commission will not investigate Ashton Kutcher, after the actor failed to fully disclose his investments in a slew of tech companies profiled in the latest version of Details magazine’s online publication for which he served as a guest editor.

TechCrunch contributor Paul Carr takes issue with people who claim ebooks are killing publishing, saying that “measuring the state of ‘books’ based on the number of hardcover sales is like measuring the popularity of ‘music’ based on how many people are buying cassettes.”

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