Huge Loss at Hewlett Packard, So What’s Next?

A bad earnings report has many investors jumping ship.

Hewlett Packard, one of the cornerstones of Silicon Valley business, finds itself in a terrible situation: The market for tech products is red-hot, and yet HP sales are slow, and everything the company touches seems to fall flat.

[Click here to read HP's quarterly report.]

With many investors bailing out, sending the stock price to near multi-level lows, those who are still brave enough to hold are hoping CEO Meg Whitman can bring some of the retail magic she showed at eBay over to HP.  So far?  Even that's a tough sell, with billions of dollars lost to writedowns after buyout deals for companies like EDS have turned sour.

The company's earnings came in, as expected, with a huge loss -- largely because of the writedowns. The guesses were for ugly numbers, so this is not a surprise (services down; PC sales weak).

And the current hot spot is mobile tech. HP was in that space, too, with the once popular Palm Operating System (branded as WebOS). HP somehow ran that into the ground as well, and has ceded the mobile market largely to Apple and Android devices.

HP has become a restructuring project. Can Whitman turn things around? Feel free to weigh in the comments section below.

Scott can be found on Twitter: @scottbudman

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