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HP revenues were up 13% year-over-year to $30.8 billion in the fiscal second-quarter ended April 30. A favorable exchange rate tickled the percentage rate to the tune of four points and HP's recent 3Com acquisition, which closed during the quarter, contributed $50 million. Earnings were up 28% to $2.2 billion or 91 cents a share. Its operating margin worked out to 9.3%, up 0.9%. HP was expected to return $1.05 a share on $29.81 billion. CEO Mark Hurd called it an "exceptional quarter with strong performance across every region." Growth was called broad-based driven with enterprise systems and storage up 31% to $4.5 billion, PCs up 21% to $10 billion, and printing up 8% to $6.4 billion. Deferred purchases are starting to come back and Hurd was relatively buoyant about Europe. CFO Cathie Lesjak said the demand environment was improving - more from SMBs than the larg... (more)

HP Muddies Water Around Violin IPO

HP may have thrown what the English call a spanner and the Americans call a money wrench into Violin Memory's anticipated IPO. Whatever you call it, it can be bruising. See, as soon as Bloomberg reported that the SSD array start-up had quietly filed to go public under the newfangled JOBS Act - which lets companies with less than a billion dollars in revenues put in their IPO papers without disclosing their plans or financials - HP let slip - also to Bloomberg - that it's going to end its deal to resell Violin arrays with its servers. An HP flak told Bloomberg that "HP 3PAR is our strategic platform for solid-state storage." This may have come as news to Violin, which told the news service that nothing had changed in its 15-month-old relationship with HP. What it said exactly was: "The current HP Violin relationship remains unchanged. The VMA product family (the Vi... (more)

IBM Exec Out on Bail as Galleon Sinks Below the Waves

CEOs in Technology Galleon Group, the $3.7 billion hedge fund at the center of the insider trading ring that the government, its wire taps and a reportedly secret SEC data-mining project exposed last Friday, is liquidating its funds and shutting down following what amounts to a run on the bank, according to a letter sent to its investors Wednesday. Buyers are reportedly at the ready. Galleon has big positions in Google among others and was one of the three biggest technology hedge funds. If it dumps its stock, it could bring prices down. Robert Moffat, the senior IBM executive responsible for the company’s $5.4 billion hardware business who personally transmitted an acquisition offer letter to Sun on IBM’s behalf earlier this year, was indicted last week along with five other conspirators in the scheme and is out on $2 million bail. Described in a Wall Street Jour... (more)

Moffat’s & Other Indictments Delayed

CEOs in Technology on Ulitzer Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire ringleader of the Galleon insider-trading mob, and Danielle Chiesi, the ex-beauty queen who allegedly charmed ex-IBM SVP Robert Moffat and ex-AMD CEO Hector Ruiz into telling her valuable company secrets, were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on 17 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy. They are expected to be arraigned Monday, December 21, and plead not guilty. A lawyer for Roomy Khan, the ex-Galleon, ex-Intel employee who's one of the government's star informants, reportedly told Rajaratnam's lawyer he better listen to the wire taps first. Khan pleaded guilty in October and will be sentenced May 17. Rajaratnam is looking at a possible 145 years in jail, Chiesi is looking at 155. Rajaratnam will also make a bid Monday to get his $100 million bail reduced to $20 million, roughly the amount of ... (more)

Violin Reportedly Files to IPO

Violin Memory, the high-speed flash memory array maker, quietly filed its papers with the SEC last month to go public according to Bloomberg, which was quoting "two people familiar with the matter." It puts Violin's possible valuation at near $2 billion. At least that's what Violin's apparently negotiating for. It's all kinda hush-hush because Violin, like Workday, which IPO'd brilliantly last week, is making use of the recently enacted Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that lets wannabe public companies keep their plans and financials secret until three weeks before their roadshow - hence no prospectus. To qualify under the JOBS Act companies have to have annual revenues of less than a billion dollars. Violin is understood to have sales of about $100 million. Violin has raised at least $172 million in venture backing and when it took in a massive $80 mi... (more)

Ex-Intel Exec Pleads Guilty in Galleon Scandal

The Galleon hedge fund insider-information scandal resembles Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians." As of Monday, there was only one of the original characters left standing. Of the six people arrested in October before the dragnet widened out, only IBM's former server chief Robert Moffat has yet to be charged. And there's a deadline that expires next week on what's gonna be done about the allegations he divulged IBM and Sun quarterly results and AMD's spin-out plans for its factories. The two main culprits, Galleon CEO Raj Rajaratnam and New Castle Danielle Chiesi - into whose ear Moffat allegedly whispered company secrets - have pled not guilty to assorted criminal and civil charges; and three smaller fish have copped a plea in hopes of doing as little jail time as possible. The latest was ex-Intel treasury director Rajiv Goel, who pled guilty Monday to giving R... (more)

Netflix Shocker: Confidence Crisis

Boomberg's Cliff Edwards reported the facts well: Netflix Inc. (NFLX) dropped the most in seven years after the video-rental service said it lost 800,000 U.S. subscribers in the third quarter, more than expected, and predicted more cancellations over a price increase. Netflix plunged 37 percent to $75.28 at 9:39 a.m. New York time, for the biggest intraday decline since October 2004. The stock closed at an all-time high of $298.73 on July 13, according to Bloomberg data. The outlook suggests Netflix has been unable to contain a subscriber revolt over a price increase and aborted plan to force subscribers into separate streaming and DVD services. The company now forecasts losses in 2012 because of costs to offer content in the U.K. and Ireland, and will delay further expansion until profitability is restored. Sound Strategy It's clear that Netflix understands what's g... (more)

Google Joins the Tech Wreck

After Intel and IBM came up short this week, Google's Q3 numbers were released early Thursday utterly surprising a market high on its business, an enthusiasm that had driven its stock to all-time highs. It missed big on both the top and bottom line, instantly creating a big sell-off of its high-flown stock, losing $19 billion in market cap, before it was halted at the company's request at $687.30, down roughly 70 bucks or 9%. It was not clear what was going on and whether the company actually intended an early release since it's unusual for a company like Google to post its numbers during the trading day. The release also looks like a draft with a placeholder for a quote from Larry Page. A half and hour or so after the crisis broke Google came out and blamed RR Donnelly, its filing agent, for sending its 8K to the SEC without authorization. Such an event is practica... (more)

Sun Burns Oracle

Oracle performed trimly enough last quarter reporting results Thursday that tore through estimates and whisper numbers. It plunked earnings of 75 cents a share, or $3.9 billion, up 27%, on Wall Street's plate. On a GAAP basis earnings were up 36%. Revenues were up 13% to $10.78 billion. The company was only supposed to do 71 cents a share on revenues of $10.75 billion according to Wall Street's consensus. Oracle itself had projected 69 cents-73 cents. It was Oracle's very first $10 billion quarter. Growth was said to be broad-based with no material deals. Its all-important new software license revenues were up 19% to $3.7 billion "with almost no help from acquisitions" according to Oracle president Safra Catz. Expectations were for $3.6 billion. She preened that Oracle's software sales are now bigger than IBM's, which if cut out of Blue would be a Fortune 500 comp... (more)

Michael Dell May Have to Boost Price for His Company

Opposition to Dell's notion of going private on the cheap to the advantage of Dell CEO Michael Dell had its board defending its bow to the idea. The board said Wednesday that independent directors had reviewed several alternatives over a five-month period including breaking up the company, recapitalizing, selling off units, increasing the dividend or going on as before and unanimously fixed on the proposed leveraged buy-out at the price of $13.65 a share on offer. Major and some smaller shareholders intend to vote against the deal when the time comes. Whether that jinxes the deal remains to be seen. Southeastern Asset Management, the biggest of the naysayers, which imagines Dell is worth $24 a share, wants access to the list of shareholders. T Rowe Price is also opposed. Southeastern has threatened a proxy fight. So has Carl Icahn, who's reportedly picked up 6% of ... (more)

Icahn Sends Dell Committee Another Letter

Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management sent Dell's special board committee an open letter first thing Monday morning urging its members, who are supposed to be watching out for the interests of Dell shareholders, not to change the rules governing the upcoming shareholder vote on whether to accept Michael Dell's offer to buy the company. Icahn and Southeastern claimed that Michael and private equity house Silver Lake Partners are trying to subvert the rules they had agreed in writing could not be waived by demanding that shares that aren't voted not be counted. The rules agreed on would count abstentions as "no." In exchange Dell and Silver Lake would raise their bid from $13.65 a share to $13.75. According to the letter, Dell and Silver Lake "have been unable to achieve the required stockholder approval and have now offered to pay a dime for a new method of vo... (more)