Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Hewlett-Packard Shares Hit 52-Week Low, Approach 2005 Levels

On a day during which both major stock markets saw their values fall by about 2 percent, share of Hewlett-Packard doubled down, closing off more than 4 percent and setting a 52-week low in the process.

HP shares closed today at $20.30, down 86 cents, or more than 4 percent. Hard as it may be to believe, that’s lower than HP shares traded in the wake of the mess of Aug. 18, 2011, when former CEO Léo Apotheker sought to lead HP into PC-less era.

In fact, the last time HP shares traded this low was in May of 2005, about a month and change after Mark Hurd took over as CEO, meaning the shares are trading near a seven-year low.

For a little perspective, here are some bullet points on what this price represents:

  • A 52-week low.
  • A drop of more than 20 percent year to date.
  • A drop of more than 28 percent since Aug. 18, 2011.
  • A drop of 40 percent from a year ago today.
  • A drop of 62 percent from HP’s peak price in 2010.
  • A drop of 53 percent over five years.
  • HP’s lowest share price since May 12, 2005.
  • A gain of 28 percent over 10 years.

Of course the expected turnaround is partially under way, but it is a big job that is just now beginning. CEO Meg Whitman says the work is about 15 percent complete. One can fairly wonder how long shareholders will have patience.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik