Autonomy Acquisition Leads to $8.8 Bln Charge, HP Says

HP blames Autonomy's "willful effort to mislead" before $10.3 bln buy.

Hewlett-Packard Co. took an $8.8 billion charge citing “a willful effort to mislead investors and potential buyers” at Autonomy Corp., the software company it agreed to purchase last year for $10.3 billion.

“HP is extremely disappointed to find that some former members of Autonomy’s management team used accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company, prior to Autonomy’s acquisition by HP,” Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard said today in a statement.

Forecast Miss

Earnings excluding some items will be 68 cents to 71 cents a share for the period, which ends in January, Hewlett-Packard said in a separate statement. Analysts on average had estimated profit of 85 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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