Somebody Needs to Buy HP, Now
The public investor doesn't value it. Dell may be down but it's not broke. It still makes money. It has operations around the world and is re-focusing on cloud computing and computer services. It has growth prospects.
By taking his company private Dell can focus on those growth prospects without worrying about quarterly earnings, and without having to talk to people like me ever again. Many of our greatest companies are privately held, Forbes notes, from Cargill to Mars to Bechtel. With annual sales of $60 billion, Dell would be number three on the 2012 Forbes list.
Rival Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) reaction to this was a big nyaah-nyaah-nyaah, telling ComputerWorld confidently it's going to steal a bunch of Dell's customers due to all this "uncertainty."
But if any company on the planet should be concerned about a private equity takeout, it's HP.
While the equity value of Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) is more than twice their annual sales, and that of Google (GOOG) nearly five times more, HP's equity is worth barely more than one-quarter its annual sales. That's worse than retailers Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) . It's worse than Dell.
The trouble is, HP is nothing but weak divisions.