David Packard and William Hewlett legacy is at risk. The Company famously founded in a Palo Alto garage in 1939 is in deep trouble. Its PC division is losing grip in the marketplace at an overwhelming pace and sales from its IT services, enterprise hardware, and printing operations are also in decline. To turn around one division in the technology sector would be hard enough, but to have to turn around multiple business divisions at once is a herculean task.
In the technology sector when multiple divisions are in trouble, this only means one thing: the whole company concept is wrong. That is probably the truth about HP. The company crystallized and lost agility in reacting to the changes in the market place. The R&D efficiency is extremely low, the company takes too long to bring products to the market, and it does not seem to be able to capitalize on its own technological breakthroughs.
In an age where companies like Apple and Samsung take pride from being able to develop and aggressively push to market its innovations , a company that is lazy in this aspect is too much vulnerable . Nokia was a little bit better than HP in terms of pushing innovations, and even though it wasn’t able to compete effectively. In presence of such a development what can we expect from HP?
Many financial so-called experts demand a break-up of the company, it is worth more in pieces than as a whole, they say. What I can tell you is that the company is worth a lot less in pieces than as a whole. Why? HP right now is like a dream team that can’t top the expectations. They have great players, but they do not play along. In a situation like this you need to reorganize and motivate. Probably you need a coach able to put the players where they feel most comfortable, doing what they like, while motivating them to go for more. Breaking up a company is like breaking a winning team: you have the ingredients for success right there, why reset?
So believe me, HP’s financial value is much higher if they are able to play has a dream team once more, than if they just sell the pieces to the highest bidder. If you don’t believe it just read this: today I saw a financial analyst stating that HP has pieces that may value $26 per share. In my opinion, if HP is able to return to earnings in the level of $3.3 per share with a net profit multiple of 15 to 20 range, this would mean a price range of $50 – $66. Are you sure that breaking up is more profitable…?