Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) fell the most in at least 31 years after issuing forecasts that missed analysts’ estimates and unveiling a set of strategic shifts that undermined confidence in the company’s management.
Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, California, dropped $6.05, or 21 percent, to $23.46 at 2:14 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange. It fell as much as 23 percent earlier, the biggest intraday decline since at least 1980. The drop erased $18 billion from Hewlett-Packard’s market value since Aug. 17, the day before the company’s plans were made public.
Leo Apotheker cut sales forecasts for the third time since becoming CEO in November, citing tepid demand. He’s spinning off the personal computer unit, dropping a five-month-old plan to put the WebOS mobile software on devices and purchasing Autonomy Corp. for $10.3 billion. While aimed at helping adding higher- margin products, the shifts are costly and may be time consuming, said Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Co.