Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HP Takes $8.8B Writedown For 'Serious Accounting Improprieties'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Hewlett-Packard officials are pointing to allegations of "accounting improprieties" as the cause of a one-time accounting charge of $8.8 billion.

As a result, HP shares plunged 14 percent at the start of trade this morning. That pushed the nation's major indexes into the red, according to CNN Money.

In its latest financial report, released early this morning, HP said there were "serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures, and outright misrepresentations at [British-based] Autonomy" that were revealed during a nearly seven-month investigation.

HP acquired Autonomy in 2011 for $11.5 billion. Analysts criticized HP at the time for overvaluing Autonomy.

HP said it launched the probe after a senior member of Autonomy's leadership team came forward. The corporation develops search engines that help companies find vital information stored across computer networks, according to CNBC.

In its fourth-quarter financials, released this morning, HP report decreased revenues: $29.96 billion compared to $32.12 billion a year ago.

HP employs more than 300,000 people across the globe, including its Boise campus.

HP announced in May that it expected to shed as many as 27,000 of its employees, representing 8 percent of its workforce by the end of 2014.

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