HP Discussed A Split

The Register is reporting that at a meeting of financial analysts, Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP, admitted to discussing breaking HP up at board room level. Fiorina commented "The board looked at this analytically and dispassionately and in detail three separate times...and each time the board...came to the same, unanimous conclusion."

The response came after questioning from Steven Milunovich, a Merrill Lynch analyst, who believes that HP should be split up. Fiorina highlighted the spin off of HP's Agilent, drawing attention to how long it had taken to complete. She also noted that any spin-off at HP would incur high costs, and take years to achieve.

HP famously merged with Compaq in 2002 despite much opposition from shareholders. Since then, HP has been dogged by problems integrating the two companies together to form an efficient business. As part of the cost cutting process many HP and ex-Compaq employees have lost their jobs. HP has had reasonable results in recent years due to a variety of reasons (weak dollar, growth in PC market), but a closer look at the company highlights that most of the revenue comes from its printer division ($1.1bn profit in Q4 of this year). In Q4 HP made $1.29bn on revenues of $21.4bn.

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