$US6.9 billion quarterly loss, accounting scandal write-downs: How low will HP go?

Hewlett Packard’s share price has hit a new low after reporting a massive loss of $US6.9 billion for the quarter ending October 31, with revenues falling across the company’s printer, IT services and server/networking divisions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, overall revenues were down 7% on the same quarter last year.

The losses were largely driven by a massive $US8.8 billion write-down of its troubled Autonomy software development unit, with $US5 billion related to accounting irregularities with the balance related to poor performances at the business.

HP acquired Autonomy for $US11.1 billion in October 2011, with the tech giant subsequently revealing that internal investigations have since revealed “serious accounting improprieties” and “outright misrepresentations” at the UK-based software developer.

Yesterday, SmartCompany reported that HP’s current CEO, Meg Whitman, has attacked Autonomy’s former management over the losses in an interview with business news channel CNBC.

Former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch has hit back at Whitman’s allegations, blaming infighting at HP for the troubled software developer’s problems.

“We completely reject the allegations. As soon as there is some flesh put on the bones we will show they are not true… It is a business we spent 10 years building. It was a world leader. It was destroyed in less than a year by the petty infighting at HP,” Lynch says.

Meanwhile, Deloitte UK, Autonomy’s pre-takeover accounting firm, has distanced itself from the troubled software developer.

“Deloitte UK categorically denies that it had any knowledge of any accounting improprieties or any misrepresentations in Autonomy’s financial statements, or that it was complicit in any accounting improprieties or misrepresentations,” the accounting firm says in a statement.


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