2012 was certainly a bad year for HP. The company saw its revenues fall and its stock price followed. Tens of thousands of planned layoffs have been announced, and ts last two quarterly reports have included write-downs of more than 8 billion dollars. It’s not clear anymore that HP can survive the changing consumer PC market, even by simply acquiring enterprise solution companies.
HP’s latest 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission makes it clear that the company will be looking to sell off assets it no longer considers vital to its future objectives. According to a Bloomberg report, HP will evaluate the potential sale of underperforming divisions, though it acknowledges that finding buyers or “alternative exit strategies” could be difficult.
In 2011, it was rumored that HP was looking into spinning off its PC division. CEO Meg Whitman eventually decided against such a move, and instead combined HP’s printer and PC divisions.
At around the same time, HP acquired a knowledge management service company called Autonomy. The purchase turned out to be a huge misstep, however. In November 2011, HP blamed much of its second $8 billion write-down on “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations, and disclosure failures” by former Autonomy executives. The 10-K filing does not provide any new details on what Autonomy is alleged to have done, though it does state that the U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating Autonomy’s accounts.