Monday, October 8, 2012

long hot summer

The news continues -- last week's low point for the year was a $14 stock, for a company with nearly $3 in annual earnings.  A multiple of 5???  Not much confidence in the future of this storied company, would you say?

And Meg, on-stage at an analyst's meeting in San Francisco, saying without enthusiasm that this company will take a very long time -- she quoted 2016 as the target -- to 'turn around'.  This followed by two weeks her New York pronouncement that HP will be 'entering' the smart phone business at some unspecified future date.

Lessee now -- haven't smart phones been out for awhile?  And Nokia is losing key execs at a healthy (or unhealthy) clip, while BlackBerries are about to become a summertime fruit again.  Consider this: HP sells more high-tech 'stuff' every quarter than any company in the world, except for Apple, who recently caught them.  But the iPhone itself, for the past two quarters, and certainly now with the new iPhone 5, sells more iPhones per quarter (revenue) than all of HP for all of its products and services.

So, yes, on the fifth anniversary of the iPhone introduction, HP's CEO says, "hey, maybe us too".  Big news.  Especially ironic since the Palm Pre was a better phone when HP intro'd it--they just lacked apps.  Seems like four years of app work might have been a smarter strategy.  And if that had been done, the WebOS backbone would have lived, and maybe even the abortted TouchPad would have been less traumatic.

Speaking of the TouchPad, it continues to draw the 2nd highest user raves of any tablet out there (courtesy of Argus Insights, a local customer opinion surveyor).  What if the trigger-happy Leo had let it live, and they'd indeed billed it as an enterprise tablet like it was designed to do?  The decision to go with Best Buy was ill-fated (most enterprises don't shop there for their IT shops).  No one yet knew that the Best Buy CEO had similar loin leanings as the ex-CEO of HP--cousins?

So, maybe HP will indeed be resurrected, more-or-less in 2016, and enthusiasm will reign again.  Hang in there...

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