Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HP Shareholders -- An 8 year perspective

It's eight years since Carly was deposed, and we've seen -- well, lessee -- between "acting" and "real" (and sometimes we couldn't tell the difference), SEVEN CEO's.  What?  What the hell?

Meanwhile, CISCO, MICROSOFT, and INTEL have had one.

IBM, DELL, and APPLE have had two

How has it gone for SHAREHOLDERS?

Over the eight year period -- Feb 7, 2005 (Carly's 'big day') to March 20, 2013, here's the story:

DOWN -- DELL, 57%;  INTEL, 13%

UP -- MICROSOFT, 9%;  HP, 15%; CISCO, 22%;  IBM, 130%;  APPLE, 1130%

Hummn, HP maybe shoulda sold the PC biz.  IBM did, and made hay on ENTERPRISE STUFF
APPLE built a great tablet and 'killed PCs" which affected -- guess who -- DELL INTEL, MICROSOFT and HP.  HP did the BEST of those four; since only about 40% of HP is PC-based

What about Cisco?  They tried mightily, doing by far the most acquisitions, chasing a video vision, chasing a consumer vision, trying damn near anything to get out of plain vanilla hubs and routers.  Growth of 2.4% per year in stock value, about the same as solid bank interest, half that of bonds.

APPLE's real gains were on the iPhone, which NONE of the others did.  But if you want to see a dismal Shareholder picture, check oiut RIM, Motorola, and Nokia during the past five to eight years.

My conclusion from all of this is pretty simple, and it astounds me that shareholders don't see it -- it ain't that 7 CEOs were bad, and Meg and the Board should be sacked.  The business they are in has matured, and none of 'the big four' are doing well since they have all missed the mobile craze and the tablet craze, and are dependent on revenues and margins of PCs.  Encores are tough.

So, over two Presidential administrations, two wars, and a Lehman Bros inspired meltdown, HP is in the top third of the top dozen WW high-tech companies that were big when the Board shot Carly.  Maybe we should vote for Board raises instead of brickbats.  But I'd shoot the CEOs who killed the R and D programs (lessee now, who would that be?  Hummn, Platt, Carly, and Hurd).

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