HP reports loss, claims accounting fraud

HP reported a charge of more than $8 billion — and claims most of that is due to accounting improprieties at Autonomy, the firm it acquired in 2011-2012.

HP previously took a $9 billion charge for its purchase of Electronic Data Systems. The company also lost when it acquired Palm — and then canceled its phones and tablets.

This all makes us wish HP had remained focused on photography and printing, as it had in the 90s and 2000’s, when the Imaging divisions earned most of its revenues…

Bloomberg’s full report is here.

Replacing silver halide? HP offers new solutions, Facebook photo printing


HP reports 70 percent of all photo specialty products — including photo books, calendars, photo cards — are printed using HP Indigo technology. Now the company is more directly pursuing traditional markets as well, offering new solutions for professional portrait and consumer photo prints that it says let them replace traditional silver halide with its Indigo Digital Press technology.

“HP provides solutions that allow photo labs to print both high-quality photo prints and merchandise,” the company says. “The new silver halide replacement offerings create a unique opportunity for photo labs to provide photo prints at a lower cost than traditional silver halide and with a clear environmental advantage.”

The new Indigo photo prints solution, HP says, brings its liquid electrophotographic printing technology to the professional portrait and 4×6-inch consumer prints markets, with the same quality as silver-halide. The company quotes one photofinisher that switched to its systems as saying, “We get a wider color range, and we are getting better results with six-color printing compared to the silver halide machines. Plus, our costs are approximately 60 percent lower.”

The printers include the Indigo WS6000p, for high-volume production, and the sheet-fed Indigo 5600 and 7600, for low- to mid-volume printing.

Also: By offering photofinishers direct access to photos stored on Facebook, as well as plug-in connectivity that allows shoppers to immediately download photos from their iPhone or Android smartphone, HP says it is “unlocking the billions of photos stored on social networks and mobile devices, making them available for in-store photo and photo creative merchandise purchase.

The new Photo Center 7 software also allows retailers to compete with online photo publishing services, HP adds, “by offering an expansive portfolio of photo creative merchandise including photo books, greeting cards, posters and calendars.” HP is also now offering canvas and mounted print products. Finally, a new “Faux Canvas” is an affordable alternative to real canvas that is lighter weight and easier to hang, HP says

More information is here.



Snapfish prints Facebook’s Timeline

HP’s online photo service Snapfish says its SocialPics application “curates the best moments from a person’s Facebook Timeline and displays them in a personalized book.”

SocialPics identifies popular photos, comments and status updates and creates a 20-page, 8-inch x 8-inch custom photo book. The company says its new tool “captures moments from a person’s social life on Facebook and displays these milestones in a printed keepsake they can share for years to come.”

The application filters meaningful content from the user’s profile based on comments, “Likes” and other interactions, Snapfish adds, and automatically arranges the content in chronological order.

Customers can customize the content by choosing a specific timeframe for their book, adding a fun title and selecting a soft cover book for $20, or a hard cover for $29.

More information is here.

HP predicts >$8 billion quarterly loss

HP says it expects to record a non-cash pre-tax charge of approximately $8 billion in the third quarter of its fiscal 2012.

The charge is the result of a writedown of the value of its services business, BusinessWeek reports, “a bookkeeping measure reflecting that the company overpaid for when it bought Electronic Data Systems in 2008 for $13 billion. The EDS deal was engineered under the reign of Mark Hurd, who stepped down as HP’s CEO two years ago amid a scandal revolving around the nature of his relationship with a former actress who worked as a company contractor.”

HP also updated the amount of the pre-tax charge it expects to record in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 in relation to its restructuring program announced on May 23, 2012. The change is primarily driven by a higher than anticipated acceptance rate under its early retirement program and faster than expected implementation of the workforce reduction program. HP now expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion, an increase from its previous estimate of approximately $1 billion, in its third quarter of fiscal 2012 that will be included in its GAAP financial results.

All told, it’s a a record loss of nearly $9 billion, BusinessWeek says.

HP also says it is increasing its previously provided third quarter fiscal 2012 earnings per share outlook to approximately $1.00 per share, up from a previous range of $0.94 to $0.97. That is, its non-GAAP diluted estimates that “exclude after-tax costs related primarily to the amortization and impairment of purchased intangible assets, goodwill impairment charges, restructuring charges and acquisition-related charges.”


Storefront adds HP’s Photosmart PM2000 Microlab support

 Storefront.com of Vancouver, B.C., Canada announced full-featured printing support for the HP Photosmart PM 2000 Microlab.

With this  integration, Storefront says its NEO V5 PhotoKiosk extends product visibility, allowing retailers to present customers their full range of products at all service levels on a single PhotoKiosk. The software is easily configured to support any combination of instant print, mini lab and out lab ordering.

To request a free demo of Storefront’sg V5 PhotoKiosk, send your phone number and shipping address to demo@storefront.com.

HP lays off 27,000 employees

Meg Whitman, CEO of HP, Palo Alto, Calif., announced the company is laying off  8 percent of its workforce, about 27,000 workers.

“There are big changes going on, and we have to position ourselves,”Whitman told analysts yesterday while reporting that the company’s net income had fallen 31 percent over last year’s results in the quarter ending April 30, and that revenue had dropped 3 percent.

HP projects the move will save $3 to $3.5 billion annually. That money will be used for building cloud-based businesses, “big data” services and security offerings, HP said.



HP realigns; VJ to retire

HP Co., Palo Alto, Calif., announced an organizational realignment “to improve performance and drive profitable growth across the entire HP portfolio,” which combines HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) and its Personal Systems Group (PSG) into Printing and Personal Systems Group. The combined entity will be led by Todd Bradley, who has served as the executive vice president of PSG since 2005.

Vyomesh "VJ" Joshi

Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi, executive vice president of IPG, is retiring after 31 yeara at HP. Under his leadership, IPG has grown revenue from $19 billion to $26 billion, and doubled its operating profit to approximately $4 billion.

“VJ embodies the spirit of HP and his impact on the company has been tremendous,” says Meg Whitman, president and CEO, HP. “Under his leadership, IPG accelerated innovation and pioneered solutions that transformed the printing market.”

This realignment is expected to provide opportunities for cost savings and accelerate HP’s ability to pursue profitable growth and reinvest in the business.

“This combination will bring together two businesses where HP has established global leadership,” says Whitman. “By providing the best in customer-focused innovation and operational efficiency, we believe we will create a winning scenario for customers, partners and shareholders.”

In addition to combining PSG and IPG, HP also is taking steps to unify and streamline certain key business functions.



HP’s Tia Newcomer to speak at DIMA Keynote Luncheon

Tia Newcomer

Tia Newcomer, general manager, HP Americas Retail Publishing Solutions, HP Co., will be the DIMA Keynote Luncheon speaker, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 at 12 noon at Bally’s Las Vegas. Her presentation, entitled, “Customer at the core. Hardware is important, but experience is king,” will provide valuable insight to a changing customer expectation for an easy experience with personalized content.

Prior to her role as general manager, she led HP through a marketing transformation positioning HP as the leader in shopper marketing in the consumer electronics space. She was selected one of seven Shopper Marketing magazine’s 2010 “People to Watch” in addition to “Who’s Who in Shopper Marketing” for 2009. She is a founding member of the Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing, representing one of 12 strategic advisor companies and is regularly invited to industry forums to speak as an expert in her field.

Prior to joining HP, Newcomer held sales, marketing and category management positions at Frito Lay, Clorox and Revlon Inc.

HP offers up webOS to Open Source

HP’s loss is open source’s gain: the PC and printer maker will provide the webOS software platform — for which it paid $1.2 billion last year — to the open source community.

HP says it “plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS,” but the move “unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.”

HP had used the operating system, developed by Palm, in its since-canceled tablets and phones.

webOS offers “a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications,” the company adds. “For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability. For device manufacturers, it provides a single web-centric platform to run across multiple devices. As a result, the end user benefits from a fast, immersive user experience.”

HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. “Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace,” HP concludes.

More information is here.


Printers open to hack attack?

Standard office laser printers can be remotely hacked, according to researchers at Columbia University — and even possibly caused to catch fire.

Columbia University’s team say this new class of computer security flaws “could impact millions of businesses, consumers, and even government agencies,” according to MSNBC. At its most extreme, remote instructions can continuously heat up the printer’s fuser, causing the paper to turn brown and smoke.

Hewlett-Packard has issued a denial of the vulnerability. The full PDF response is here.

The issue arises as printers are now all-but computers themselves, rather than simple output devices that require a PC for imaging.
The internet-connected printers could also infect attached PCs.

The full story  is here.