Hewlett Packard Leaks Good News Early, To Mask Bad News Later

And so, on a day when the market is plunging, and any piece of good news is desperately needed, Hewlett Packard shows all the amateur PR hacks how it's done. With less than 5 hours until the company's official earnings release, Hewlett Packard just leaked to by Bloomberg that it would spin off its PC business and purchase British software developer Autonomy PLC. This is the oldest trick in the book to get a stock to drop from a higher level in the hopes that staggered releases of news, first good, then bad offsets each other, instead of having the good news be overwhelmed by the bad. Either way, stock surged following the mandatory robotic response and after triggering circuit breakers was halted, only to resume trading 7% higher. We very much doubt this surge will sustain itself for more than a few minutes after the scam is understood. We also very much doubt that today's earnings release will have anything good to say about the future.

From Bloomberg:

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), the world’s largest computer maker, is planning to announce the acquisition of Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion and the spinoff of its personal-computer business, said people familiar with the company’s plans.

The company may announce its plans as early as today, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t yet public. Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, California, is scheduled to report quarterly earnings today after markets close.

Stock response:

Update: sure enough...

Second and final update: pretty much unchanged.


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