The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: The All-HP Edition
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Happy Thanksgiving Dumbest fans! Hopefully you enjoyed a fantastic Turkey Day filled with friends and family, and are now working off all that bird by battling the Black Friday crowds at a mall near you.
And speaking of thankfulness, you know what we here at the Dumbest Lab gave thanks for this Thursday while we were elbows deep in cranberry sauce and walnut stuffing?
You guessed it, the overflowing bounty of dumbness bestowed upon us by our good friends at Hewlett Packard (HPQ) .
Yes, the once-proud tech company offered us yet another amen moment this Tuesday when it recorded a non-cash charge of around $8.8 billion related to its purchase of U.K. software maker Autonomy last year. In its conference call, HP said the majority of the impairment "is linked to serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations" that took place at Autonomy prior to HP's taking it over.
"These improprieties were discovered through an internal investigation after a senior member of Autonomy's management team came forward following the departure of
Improprieties our ass Meg! Woman up and call it a fraud if that's what you believe. Your stock is getting destroyed and famed shortseller Jim Chanos is dancing on your grave like he's at a P. Diddy party in East Hampton. This is no time to mince words. Your target, former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, is not pulling his punches in his defense, so why should you?
Seriously Meg, check out what he said in in an interview with AllThingsD: "Basically, we reject completely the assertion of HP. It's completely wrong. The reality of the situation is that when HP bought Autonomy it had hundreds of people involved in due diligence, which was described at the time as 'meticulous.' And KPMG, Barclays and Perella were all involved there. And they've actually run it for a year. To somehow admit a $9 billion elephant in the room just beggars belief, frankly."
See! It's now or never. Your fourth-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share may have exceeded Wall Street's profit estimate, but a two-penny beat is hardly a blowout and certainly not enough to knock this Autonomy hullabaloo out of the headlines. Not helping either is your tepid earnings outlook of 68 to 71 cents a share for next quarter, well below Wall Street's consensus view of 85 cents.
So what are you going to do Meg? Huh? How do you plan to turn this battleship around before it sinks under the weight of all those stupid executive decisions?