HP creates PC-printing power
Abu Dhabi, March 22, 2012
Hewlett Packard Co will merge its printer and PC businesses, combining two of its largest divisions as chief executive Meg Whitman tries to jumpstart growth at the technology company.
The combined unit, with $65 billion in annual sales, will account for about half the company's revenue and be headed by PC chief Todd Bradley, the company said in a statement.
Reuters had reported on the plans on Tuesday. Wall Street cautiously welcomed the move as one that will simplify HP's notoriously complex structure. But some analysts said it remains to be seen whether Whitman can revive growth at the $120 billion corporation, which has seen its shares slide over the past two years.
HP's move will "facilitate decision-making and improve productivity," but the issues around growth and margin expansion will take more time to resolve, said UBS analyst Um Maynard, who cut his 12-month target price on HP's stock to $26 from $30.
"While we believe there may be synergies, we believe they may be modest," Maynard added. The company is also planning to unify other functions, such as marketing and communications, across the business to promote a stronger brand and improve efficiency.
HP, the largest US technology company by revenue, is trying to keep its core personal computing business profitable as competition from mobile devices erodes sales. The company is trying to transform itself into a major enterprise computing provider. - Reuters