HERMOSA BEACH, Calif., Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Law Offices of Jon C. Furgison today announced a shareholder class action filing against Hewlett-Packard Company alleging securities fraud in connection with the company's 2011 acquisition of Autonomy Corporation, plc.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and entitled Neumann v. Hewlett-Packard Company, et al., was brought on behalf of purchasers of HP common stock (NYSE: HPQ) during the period between February 20, 2008 and November 20, 2012. Motions for lead plaintiff for this action are due in Court no later than January 25, 2013.
Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. Should members of the putative class have questions concerning their rights and interests, they may contact plaintiff's counsel at (310) 356-6890.
On August 18, 2011, HP announced that it had agreed to purchase Autonomy, a British company that supplies software that analyzes unstructured data, such as emails, online videos and web-surfing, for patterns. HP paid approximately $11.1 billion to acquire Autonomy. At the time of the purchase, Hewlett-Packard insiders touted the deal's potential for substantial synergistic effects that would prove profitable for the company. According to the complaint, HP and its insiders continued to make public statements about the benefits of the Autonomy purchase throughout 2012.
According to the complaint, HP knew at the time it made its statements that it had vastly overpaid for Autonomy and that the purported synergistic benefits would never materialize. As widely reported, the company was forced to take an $8.8 billion write down related to its acquisition of Autonomy, which it announced on November 20, 2012.
The complaint also alleges a fraudulent scheme by Hewlett-Packard and certain insiders from at least February 20, 2008 until the present, concerning one of its most profitable products, its proprietary Integrity servers. These servers are sold primarily to HP's largest corporate customers and typically carry high profit margin service contracts – in some years the Integrity servers have accounted for as much as 15% of profits.
According to the complaint, beginning in early 2008, HP learned that the Integrity servers were facing obsolescence. The servers run on the Itanium chip, manufactured by Intel Corporation. The complaint notes that without the Itanium chip, HP could not sell the Integrity servers, and its high-profit service agreements would be wiped out. At some point prior to February 2008, Intel told HP that it wished to stop making the Itanium chips, because they were no longer profitable for Intel. According to the complaint, HP, facing massive losses in profits, secretly agreed to pay Intel millions of dollars – just so that it would agree to continue to make the Itanium chips. These payments served no purpose other than to convince Intel to continue to make the chips and the agreement was a closely-guarded secret of the Company, the complaint alleges. At the same time it knew its Integrity servers were facing obsolescence, HP continued making statements, which the Complaint alleges to be false, regarding the long-term viability of those servers.
Shareholders allege that the frauds associated with the Autonomy acquisition and the Integrity servers have had a severe effect on HP's stock. From February 20, 2008 until November 20, 2012, when the public finally knew the truth about the two events, HP's market capitalization declined from $117 billion to $23 billion, a loss of $94 billion. It had traded as high as $54.52 at one point during the class period, and it closed at $11.71 on November 20, 2012.
Plaintiff Paul Neumann seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of HP common stock during the Class Period.
Contact: Jon C. Furgison
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SOURCE Law Office of Jon C. Furgison