HP Shares Spike as Suitors Circle

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- HP(HPQ) shares climbed Wednesday following a news report that potential purchasers are evaluating the company's Autonomy and EDS units.

Citing people familiar with the discussions, The Wall Street Journal reports that the beleaguered tech giant has received "expressions of interest from potential suitors" for Autonomy, the U.K. software maker acquired in August 2011. The purchase was thrust into the spotlight in November when HP recorded a massive writedown of about $8.8 billion relating to accounting improprieties at Autonomy prior to the acquisition.

The unnamed sources cited by The Journal said the overtures received by HP have come mainly from other tech companies and their representatives. The report added that some potential buyers had also expressed their interest in EDS, the services company acquired by HP for $13.9 billion in 2008.

HP shares on Wednesday closed up 4.1% to $17.21.

A spokesman for HP told TheStreet that the company doesn't comment on speculation.

There have been plenty of rumors, though, about HP carving off parts of its business. In a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, HP said it will "continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives."

Last year, however, HP CEO Meg Whitman laid out her turnaround plan for the No. 1 PC maker, which has seen its shares slump 35% over the past 12 months. HP says it's on track to complete its restructuring by the end of fiscal 2014. By 2016, Whitman expects to see the company's revenue growing in line with GDP and operating profit increasing faster than revenue.

Citing its unnamed sources, The Journal reported on Wednesday that the HP CEO "so far isn't in selling mode."

HP isn't the only ailing tech company in the headlines at the moment. Buyout rumors continue to swirl around Dell(DELL) following a recent Bloomberg report. Talks to take Dell private are now at an advanced stage, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday. Citing two unnamed sources, Reuters reported that at least four major banks have been lined up to provide financing, with buyout specialist Silver Lake Partners leading the deal.

Dell has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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