Hewlett-Packard Expands Layoffs to 29,000

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In an SEC filing Monday, computer and electronics maker Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) announced plans to expand its proposed layoffs by 2,000, increasing total job cuts at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company to 29,000 -- more than 8% of its total workforce. Shares were up more than 1% on Monday in light of the news.

CEO Meg Whitman looks to restructure the tech giant in the wake of last quarter’s abysmal earnings, when it posted the worst loss in the company’s history. More than 10,000 of the estimated cuts will likely be required by the end of this fiscal year.

It’s been an inglorious fall for the world’s largest personal computer maker, which never found solid footing in the mobile technology revolution sparked by the likes of Apple and Google. The company’s first tablet offering, the HP Touchpad, never captured much interest in the 49 days it remained on shelves -- although Whitman has announced that the company could produce tablets in 2013.

HP’s stock recently hit a 52-week low, sparking investor fears about the company’s future in the midst of massive write-downs due to poor, multibillion-dollar acquisitions. Shares are down nearly 23% over the past 52 weeks and could go lower as HP increased projections of restructuring costs to $3.7 billion on Monday, up from prior expectations of $3.5 billion. With restructuring estimated by Whitman to last between three and five years, shareholders in it for the long run could be waiting a long time to see real returns.

Fool contributor Dan Carroll holds no positions in the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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  • Report this Comment On September 10, 2012, at 3:15 PM, TomSanderson wrote:

    While I certainly respect the progress Meg Whitman brought about at eBay, I continue to hold the opinion that she's into a situation at HP that's going to eventually require a lot more than 29,000 layoffs. HP's problems are product related and also mal-investment related. Look closely at HP's economic results and breakdown. You'll see the source of most of their profit-producing sales, and it's not PCs and it's certainly not tablets or SAS-like software offerings. Some whole divisions need to be sold. I wish her well, but I would *not* want her job and I certainly wouldn't consider putting money into HP stock; not for a while yet.

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