Hewlett-Packard’s plan to spin off its consumer PC unit, abandon webOS and the tablet market and buy software firm Autonomy for a reported $10 billion didn’t go over well with investors, who hammered the stock on Friday.
HP’s stock price fell 23% Friday morning to less than $23 a share. That’s the lowest the stock has been since 2005.
The company’s bold moves came after its webOS unit lost $336 million, mostly because of the doomed TouchPad launch. Sales for HP’s consumer PC unit fell 23% in the last quarter. (Numerologists, take note of the recurring presence of the number 23.)
Still, not everyone believes that HP was right to cut its losses. Investors apparently don’t and neither does Sarah Rotman Epps, a consumer analyst with Forrester Research. “HP withdrew itself from the post-PC competition before it even got started,” she says. “The reality is they didn’t try very hard.”