Hewlett-Packard Predicts "Another Tough Quarter" In Internal Memo, Warns Of Layoffs, Profit Margins

Tyler Durden's picture

Wondering what is causing the quicksand under HP stock after hours? Nothing more and nothing less than what we have been predicting, namely that on its public call had such a bullish outlook on the economy, has been warning internally of that another "tough quarter" is coming.

From Bloomberg:

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker told top executives that he’s bracing for “another tough quarter” in the period that ends in July and urged deputies to “watch every penny and minimize all hiring.”

The company’s existing headcount plans are “unaffordable given the pressures on our business,” Apotheker wrote in the May 4 memo to deputies including Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the personal systems business, and Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak. The memo was obtained by Bloomberg.

Apotheker’s e-mail follows the release in February of a forecast for the second quarter, which ended in April, that missed analysts’ sales and profit estimates. Hewlett-Packard blamed the shortfall on sluggish demand for services and consumer products. The memo indicates that the company continues to come under pressure and suggests job cuts are in the offing.

Q3 is going to be another tough quarter, one in which we will be driving hard for revenue and profit,” Apotheker wrote. “We have absolutely no room for profitless revenue or any discretionary expenditures.”

And now the deluge of real, and very much deferred profit warnings, is about to hit Wall Street like a redirected Mississippi river.

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carbonmutant's picture

I bought a new printer from these guys last week.

That should help their bottom line next quarter...lol

66Sexy's picture

Did it break down yet?

HP is clearly part of the 'consumer cyclism' scam, where shit breaks down after 6 months.

HP products are garbage, they should have been BK a long time ago..

cxl9's picture

Reluctantly I am forced to agree. The LaserJet 4 was their last good printer, a rock-solid workhorse. I still have three of them. It was straight downhill after that. Now all their printers are just the usual Chinese plastic junk. HP software is badly-written, useless bloatware, in its effects virtually indistinguishable from a computer virus. Of course, they're supposedly a "services company" now like everyone else. We'll see how well that works out.

Saxxon's picture

cxl9, I have heard and read similar observations 1000's of times in the past decade.

I am now discovering that in some areas (umbrellas, just for a wild example) it is virtually impossible to find quality no matter how long you look and how much you are willing to spend.

I am wearing a pair of wool slacks bought at Nordstroms; the fucking zipper busted on the second time out.  That used to only happen with the cheapest shit available.

Interesting times.

TruthInSunshine's picture

American Business Model 101:

Borrow money to make some shit as long as some entity with money thinks the shit can sell at WalMart/Target/Macy's/Home Depot/Best Buy/Amazon, and as long as you did patent/IP protection right and with gusto.

Get in contact with Chinese Factory where no safety laws, environmental regulations, child labor rules, or any other restrictions of any kind exist (the more unique, technologically advanced and profitable your product, the more the Chinese will welcome you, so they can steal all your shit, including your intellectual property/design/model).

Produce the shit as cheaply and quickly as possible.

Sell the shit as quickly as you can, while margins are fat, end demand is there, and before Win Bo Chow makes 100,000 copies of all your internal documents/designs/plans (Win Bo Chow is your factory manager and also works for the Chinese Government).

Bank profit.

GTFO of China while you can, and before you are killed on a Chinese highway of death after touring your slave camp factory.

Retire in Antigua. Drink many cocktails and tell stories of how you helped make America what it is to the drunk woman next to you.

nufio's picture

im tired of the outsourcing stuff.. people study all kinds of useless degrees in college. People in the US had the opportunity to study useful (and tough) subjects but most of them want to just party in college. When they do that they just become replacable and are replaced. This generation had the opportunity to get educated in useful fields and move ahead but the fundamental problem is that people are lazy and entitled. Its really time to stop blaming the corporations for not providing jobs. People are just not skilled in anything useful. All the students in the engineering division are of asian origin. Why is no one talking about this? Its not that americans are born stupid.. they are just spoilt.. and this behavior should not be rewarded imo.

Hansel's picture

"and this behavior should not be rewarded imo."

Have the banks taught you nothing?  People not skilled in anything useful get bailed-the-fuck out!  They make more money than god.

Caviar Emptor's picture


However idealizing the young from other cultures is greatly exaggerated. Heard this story my whole life. More smoke than fire. 

The_Dude's picture

Hey asswipe...since you are so bright, I am sure you can figure out cause and effect.  Let's see if you can follow.  Cause: Major US Corps rail about not enough US engineering grads, pays off Congress to establish H1,L1,F1 programs to start bringing huge numbers our of foreign born engineers here.  Effect: Pay rates for US based engineers drops and never seen unemployment in engineering fields emerges. Effect:  US Corps see this as easy way to lower costs and displace US based engineers.    Effect:  'Stupid' American engineering students see the writing on the wall and head for other degrees.  Effect: 'All the students in the engineering division are of asian origin.'...you can probably add here that corps see huge growth in profits from historical trend lines.

There are lots of other dynamics at play....Foreign Student Competency exams,  US based schooling approaches. College Diversity initiatives, US Colleges now more fixated on revenue than educating Americans, more and more.


Just understand one thing...the free trade globalist targeted these careers to feed the US Corp bottom line.  Don't belive me. Go read the chapter in Greenspans book on outsourcing.  He weeps for teachers, saying we are obligated to do anything to raise their salaries.  And then immediately turns around and claims the 'system' needs to targets scientists and engineers that are an inconvenience to the company bottom line.


nufio's picture

i agree with the foreign born engineers having an effect on salary here. I just dont buy that people leave engineering for liberal arts just becuase there is more pay in liberal arts. there isnt! I think most people take majors that dont involve math because they didnt learn enough math in school. Dropout rates for CS in most universities is VERY high.

i dont see any reason why we should expect 100% employment in engineering. a% of population in any field is probably unemployable. Unemployment/underemployment in engineering is not 20% like in liberal arts/social work/psychology. The argument that people chose those majors because there are more career prospects is just bullshit.

nufio's picture

i dont think americans are stupid.. but i think a significant chunk of this generation is lazy and entitled. been to any college campus lately?

The_Dude's picture

Let's add a few...

the corps are too lazy too offer good products that more people will pay for and so use H1-Bs to improve their bottom line at the expense of Americans.

The parents are too lazy to pay attention to what their kids are doing or direct them into something that will benefit their future.

The teachers unions are too lazy complaining about thier perceived injustice to own up to the fact that the system they maintain is broken and the kids are not prepared.

The older generations are too lazy to admit they have wrecked the economy and burdened the 'lazy' kids they whine about with a huge debt.


nufio's picture

i dont see why corporations are expected to pay more for the same work.

Eventually all the tech work is going to move outside the us where teh cost is going to be much lesser than here.

IMO the h1 and l1 programs just bought US more time till the inevitable. The problem with being at the top of the pyramid is that US has to keep innovating to stay one step ahead. It cannot expect other countries not to catch up and stay underdeveloped forever and not compete. But the US society is becoming more lazy while the societies in most developing nations just cannot afford to be lazy to survive.

I do not think that if the H1 and L1 programs were to be discontinued there would be enough citizen engineers to even fill all those posts.



The_Dude's picture

Corps operate at the discretion of the people and not the other way around.  Corp need to be responsible 'citizens' just like everyone else.  The laws governing them should reflect that they operate for the benefit of the people and not for sucking money/resources/IP without some benefit.  Of couse, the globalists will say all is fair but that is becuase it is a rigged game for them.  

And your argument about not enough US engineers to fill needed positions is completely riduculous.  Let salaries rise back to where they should be and people will flock back to the profession instead of fleeing it like they have been.  But if someone has an agenda, they will always find an baseless argument to support their claim...like lazy americans won't work these jobs...hmmm...where have I heard that before?

nufio's picture

i can accept corporations having to serve a nation if the corporation doesnt operate outside its boundaries. For multinational corporations it doesnt make much sense.

"let salaries rise back to where they should be". What do you think the salary should be?

At what salary do you think people will start choosing engineering over liberal arts or  communication majors? There already is a wage premium for engineering and its certainly vast. Yet 1/15th of the US college graduates choose all streams of engineering and computer science combined.I do think a significant chunk of the current college going genration is the US has  ridiculous sense of entitlement.

For software services, A company operating with US labour just cannot compete with one operating with labour in India. After a decade or so the same work will probably be done in africa. The only solution to maintain a higher wage structure in the US is to tax IT imports which would be reciprocated by tax on exports in IT or other sectors by other countries. Wage equalization across the globe imo is inevitable, unless the whole world goes back to isolationism.

I can see the logic in people in developed nations arguing for isolationism to maintain wage disparity, but I think this is just temporary as the higher standard of living is purely a result of the disparity in exchange rates. Once currency exchange rates dont have any meaning the standard of living in a country will primarily be dependent on the natural resources of that country.

nufio's picture

did u also get the 1$ usb cable that sells for $20 and is not included in the box?

Ratscam's picture

and i thought after receiving several email and print special offers from HP meant that they are doing great 


NOTW777's picture

they are waiting to charge you $1000/oz for ink refills

Sam Clemons's picture

I'm sure HP is suffering because Bernanke and Geithner have cornered the ink and paper markets.

Nonsense's picture

No.  I have an agenda against Bernanke and Geithner, I have family members employed with HP and I will personally vouch that the lowered earnings (with a cooked book) is indeed the fault of HP.  They are aspiring to make printers achieve the redeeming quality of Microsoft Vista.  If you've ever encoutered the "Blue screen of death" and HP's C310 printer; you will understand full well the comparison that I'm making.

It's quite frightening to spend money on ink just to see if the printer is going to work.  One set of ink can cost as much as it costs to fill up your tank nowadays.

I had to return TWO C310s.  I bought them both because my arm was twisted by a family member to do so.  I tossed a good printer out to use this and they both failed.  Now I'm out of a printer, ink, I came very close to disowning a family member and I'm incredibly bitter about the entire episode.

Bernanke, Geithner and Wall Street don't have enough brains to incorporate enough SUCK into technology. 

I'm sure people in technologically advanced countries such as Japan are laughing at us when we're the ones who invented this.  Like everything else (the automobile, electricity, the internet, modern medicine and microsoft) we invent it then we produce the lowest quality.  Why should printers be any different?  America thrives on deminishing talent.  That's what we do best! 

speconomist's picture

What does the 2s7s tag mean?

Agent P's picture

Curve steepness...nothing to do with the story, unless I'm missing something...probably tagged inadvertently.

Alex Kintner's picture

Craps or Poker? Either way, HPQ getting hammered after hours -- down 4.9%. Even a RoboTraitor recommend can't save em today.

Mongo's picture

QE2 was a bitch... time for QE3

Bazooka's picture

2011 will be remembered as the "Tragic Year". The year when all economists and ponzi politicians were sure that recovery was at hand but only higher unemployment, massive ponzi collapse and equities flash crash race to the bottom. Central bankers will weep for the gold and silver they bought at the top will be 99% less in worth.

Franken_Stein's picture


You crack me up. You really, really do.

At 99% less, silver would be at $0.33 / oz.


Hell, I'm gonna need a truck to transport all that silver home that I'd buy at that price.


wirtschaftswunder's picture

At that price you won't have a truck....or a home.

cossack55's picture

But a 100x more valuable than the fiat shit. Hahaha

earnyermoney's picture

you would'nt be Cheeky Bastard would you?

Eally Ucked's picture

What you're trying to say is that everything goes down the drain? And now we're coming to the last sentence "Central bankers will weep for the gold and silver they bought at the top will be 99% less in worth." thats ok, we will measure value of our transactions in chicken peas or other stuff you propose. 99% of the price they paid for gold&silver disappears that means USD is real money again and for what reason?   

Caviar Emptor's picture

You're right about the first, not the second. 

This indeed is the year where a general consensus grows that there is no recovery, the promises made were not kept and we indeed are in deep doodoo as we thought 2 years ago. The Great Delusion is wearing out its welcome. 

However PMs and especially gold are the go to safe haven, the 'gold standard' by which all others will be measured. Look up some stats and you'll see that record bullion purchases are being made. Gold holdings are popping up all over. Nothing else seems safe or even truthy

Caviar Emptor's picture

You're right about the first, not the second. 

This indeed is the year where a general consensus grows that there is no recovery, the promises made were not kept and we indeed are in deep doodoo as we thought 2 years ago. The Great Delusion is wearing out its welcome. 

However PMs and especially gold are the go to safe haven, the 'gold standard' by which all others will be measured. Look up some stats and you'll see that record bullion purchases are being made. Gold holdings are popping up all over. Nothing else seems safe or even truthy

firstdivision's picture

nobody cares about hewlett packard. It's all about WWJD(what will jobs do).

CPL's picture

Exactly...apple gear is in every server room, mounted in racks and runs practically anything and everything.  <snicker>  Can't blame the tough quarter though.  IT is officially dead as a stone...

on a side note, I didn't think anyone actually worked at HP except sales staff that run on commission and contractors.  I know because I had supply arrangements for bodies once upon a time.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

But whutta dbout da cloud computin?


CPL's picture

LOL!  Amazon and Apple (sigh...even Microsoft) Cloud services.  I believe we all call it webmail and photobucket.  I swear "cloud" is one of the worst ideas/marketing concepts since "managed services with five year reoccuring revenue". 

If you have a "want" to run a service, run it yourself.  Load balancing is cheap as shit, hardware (better than years ago at 1/3000th the cost...started on VAX/VMS/Kings ransom shit) that with a leased line from two or three providers and you are on a good a steady course to making money.  Last i looked a person can buy an entire ISP for around 30k on ebay...probably a bit less on a direct contact.  If you're running a popular site (hint..hint Tylers).  You adjust your priorities to have your user base cover the cost of running the place and make your meat and potatoes on the site.  ISP's usually have some pretty sweet data deals.

The true cost to "cloud" is when it's down, it's all down, then it's twenty thousand fucked companies instead of down for an hour brb.

Hephasteus's picture

Cloud is going to seriously fucker IBM Microsoft, Amazon, HP and everyone else who throws resources into the sewage system.

Cone of Uncertainty's picture

Today LOW craps on itself.

Now HP.

And my prediction: WMT takes a big shit turd on itself tomorrow, dumb and dumber style.

Negative comps biatches!

Welcome to your new America.

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

The Bernanke will print some more green-shoots.

3.7.77's picture

Reality is catching up with the spin cycle.........

cossack55's picture

The Maytag man is going to have some company soon.

Agent P's picture

Surprised this was leaked two days before the Q2 release.  Would love to be a fly on the wall at the next executive meeting.

DonutBoy's picture

Yeah  - that's ugly. Apotheker has an enemy in the camp.

Agent P's picture

I'd say more than one.  There were several division heads vying for the top spot when Hurd was shown the door, all of whom were stepped over by an external (from a software company no less). 

This kind of distraction in the management ranks will not do favors for the stock price...look for a head to roll soon.

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

QE3 where art thou?


buzzsaw99's picture

HP jumped the shark ten years ago. They made good calculators, printers, and desktops but their laptops overheated and caught fire and they refused to man up. Now they are in the dustbin of history with a crap reputation and an obsolete line.

tarsubil's picture

Yeah, no one mentioned their lap tops. Dear God they were horrible. We bought two thinking the first was a lemon. Later I learned that the things were preloaded with spyware and what can only be called viruses. HP has been screwing customers for 10 years. I'm amazed they are even around anymore.

MrFriskles's picture

Shit company let them burn. Nothing we need a little less of. Their land fill contribution is much appreciated, but now we can throw them into it right next to their 6 month printers and their 35 page printing cart's. What a destructive paradigm for our earth and what an amazing business opportunity, or was it...

Robslob's picture

Too many acquisitions...too little time...death spiral as HP fails to succesfully pull an "IBM".