HP prepares for slow road to recovery

Kasmira Jefford
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HEWLETT-PACKARD unveiled a 91 per cent drop in fourth-quarter profits last night after absorbing a $3.3bn (£2.1bn) write down of its WebOS division and continued weakness in its personal computer business.

Delivering her maiden results, HP’s new chief executive Meg Whitman said the group made a profit of $200m in the quarter ending 31 October, compared with $2.5bn last year. Revenues fell from $33.3bn to $32.1bn.

The technology giant missed several Wall Street estimates, leading it to cut its earnings guidance for the current fiscal year to at least $4 per share before charges.

Whitman took over as chief executive in September after her predecessor Leo Apotheker was fired following what has been a turbulent year for the group.

Apotheker’s decision to discontinue its tablet and smartphone software WebOS was the largest contributor to HP’s fall in profit.

Whitman said it was going to be “a disruptive year” as the company battled with global economic headwinds – especially in Europe – along with flooding in Thailand, which has impacted its hard drive supplies.

Shares, fell 1.8 per cent in after hours trading.