|By Maureen O'Gara||
|November 21, 2012 08:00 AM EST||
HP Tuesday morning charged its Autonomy acquisition with massive fraud.
It claims it was the victim of accounting improprieties and disclosure failures made by the publicly held British company prior to its acquisition last year by HP and downright misrepresentations made to HP in connection with the ultimately $12 billion and something acquisition.
As a result HP will write off most of the inflated purchase price and take an $8.8 billion non-cash charge, worse than the $8 billion goodwill charge HP took this summer on its EDS acquisition.
HP has turned the case over to the SEC and the UK's Serious Fraud Office for civil and criminal prosecution. HP CEO Meg Whitman said the company would also press its own civil and criminal charges against certain unnamed individuals seeking redress for its benighted stockholders. She expects it all to take years.
HP said that after Autonomy founder Mike Lynch was fired earlier this year because the unit was significantly underperforming an unidentified senior member of Autonomy's staff blew the whistle on the company's inflated margins and phony growth rates, and the slight-of-hand that got it so overvalued.
A seven-month internal investigation ensued, leading HP to conclude that Autonomy was overvalued all along.
That investigation is still going on but it found that Autonomy misstated its financial performance, including its revenue, core growth rate and gross margins, and misrepresented its business mix.
Margins were inflated from 28% to 45% by passing low-end hardware sales off as IDOL software license sales; VAR license fees were paraded as revenue when no end customer existed at the time of the sale; VARs paid high up-front fees in exchange lower future fees; and revenues were pulled forward. The idea was to suggest better growth than existed.
"This appears to have been a willful effort on behalf of certain former Autonomy employees to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company in order to mislead investors and potential buyers," HP said in a statement. "These misrepresentations and lack of disclosure severely impacted HP management's ability to fairly value Autonomy at the time of the deal."
Whitman said HP's board, which voted to make the Autonomy acquisition, "feels terribly" about all this but depended on financials audited by Deloitte and re-audited by KPMG before doing the deal. "You have to depend on audited results," she said, although neither accounting firm tumbled to what had been going on.
Apparently PricewaterhouseCoopers' forensics team finally caught it after in was brought in in May.
According to Meg, "blogs" at the time of the acquisition questioned Autonomy's revenue recognition and what it called a sale but Autonomy's management was allowed to run the reports to ground with the pair of original auditors and claimed there was nothing to them.
After listening to the HP conference call Tuesday morning Lynch "flatly rejected" HP's allegations, "which are false."
Meg blamed her predecessor Leo Apotheker and former head of R&D and strategy Shane Robison. Due diligence at HP no longer reports to M&A, as it was when Apotheker was therem but it's kind of late in the day to give it to the CFO.
Robison has yet to be heard from, but Apotheker, who orchestrated the Autonomy acquisition, issued a statement to the Wall Street Journal saying he was "stunned and disappointed" to learn of thr alleged accounting improprieties and defended HP's due diligence as "meticulous and thorough."
He pointed out that since Autonomy was a public company "much of the process relied on public financial reports - accounting statements approved, filed and backed by Autonomy's leadership, board and auditors" and offered to make himself available "to assist HP and the appropriate authorities to get to the bottom of this."
Autonomy's shenanigans account for $5.3 billion of the charge; the rest stems from HP's declining stock price, which has been in free fall since Apotheker said it was buying Autonomy and disposing of HP's PC unit in order to turn HP into a software company. The company quickly disposed on Mr. Apotheker, replacing him with Whitman, who went through with the Autonomy acquisition and decided to keep PCs. Most outsiders couldn't understand the Autonomy buy.
Although Autonomy's long-term financial performance is expected to be impacted by the mess, Whitman says the company is "100% committed to Autonomy" and expects it to play a "significant role" in HP's recovery.
The disclosure was part of Hewlett-Packard's quarterly report. It lost $6.85 billion, or $3.49 a share, compared to a profit of $239 million, or 12 cents a share, this time last year. Revenue was $29.96 billion, down 4%. Adjusted EPS was $1.16. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.14 a share, on revenue of $30.44 billion.
HP said revenue from its PC unit was down 14% since commercial revenues dropped 13% and consumer revenue plunged 16%. Revenue in the enterprise, servers, storage and networking segment dropped about 9%. Printing sales fell about 5%. Services fell about 6%. Software revenue was up 14%.
HP's battered shares were down 12.48% to $11.64 in pre-market trades on the news, dropped further as the market woke up and then recouped slightly to $11.87, down 10.68%. Its stock has lost over 48% this year and the company had $21.8 billion in long-term debt at the end of its fiscal fourth quarter
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 658
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 572
[session] The Factory of the Future, Today By @Cisco | @ThingsExpo #IoT #BigData #DigitalTransformation
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jun. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 711
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Jun. 30, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 506
Edge Hosting has announced a partnership with and the availability of CloudFlare, a web application firewall, CDN and DDoS mitigation service. “This partnership enhances Edge Hosting’s world class, perimeter layer, application (layer 7) defensive mechanism,” said Mark Houpt, Edge Hosting CISO. “The goal was to enable a new layer of customer controlled defense and compliance through the application of DDoS filters and mitigations, the web application firewall (WAF) feature and the added benefit ...
Jun. 30, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 740
"SpeedyCloud's specialty lies in providing cloud services - we provide IaaS for Internet and enterprises companies," explained Hao Yu, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,043
[session] Redis Functions and Data Structures By @DaveNielsen | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Redis #Containers
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Jun. 30, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 420
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Jun. 30, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,022
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Jun. 30, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,176
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,061
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 492
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 417
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,027
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discusse...
Jun. 30, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,018
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Jun. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,283
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,366
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 740
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,526
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Jun. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,038
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 624