FutureFive NZ - Investors flee HP

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Investors flee HP

Hewlett-Packard shares have slumped as investors respond to last week’s announcement of a radical shift in strategy.

From a high of US$32.59 on Thursday, shares fell to US$22.89 on Friday before closing at US$23.60. 

The slump shows investors are unconvinced by HP’s plans to separate or sell its PC division, Personal Systems Group (PSG), while purchasing British software vendor Autonomy.

HP’s chief executive, Leo Apotheker, has defended the move, arguing that the shift from hardware to software is a tough but necessary response to changes in the technology industry.

However, it could take a year or more to separate PSG, meaning it will still be some time before HP reaps the benefits of the move – if there are any.

Meanwhile, retailers have reacted to the news HP is discontinuing its webOS devices, including the TouchPad tablet, by offering heavy discounts to clear their shelves. 

Following the announcement, Best Buy – which had already been rumoured to be growing frustrated at slow TouchPad sales – began selling the tablet at US$99 (NZ$121) for the 16GB model and US$149 (NZ$182) for the 32GB version. 

Adding insult to injury, HP offered the same rate on its website, but heavy traffic saw the site collapse. 

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