Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hewlett-Packard’s Explanation Just Makes No Sense - Bloomberg

Perhaps the fundamental HP/Autonomy mistake: goodwill wishful thinking
"The goodwill figure is especially telling. Goodwill is the bookkeeping entry that a company records when it pays a premium to buy another company. More precisely, it’s the difference between the purchase price and the fair market value of the acquired company’s net assets. Goodwill can’t be sold by itself. The goodwill in this instance tells you that HP paid $6.9 billion more than it believed Autonomy’s net assets were worth.
Now HP is writing down some of that goodwill and blaming it on supposed financial-reporting improprieties by Autonomy. This also doesn’t make sense. HP didn’t record the goodwill because it was lied to by Autonomy. HP recorded the goodwill because it knew Autonomy’s identifiable assets were worth much less than it paid."
Hewlett-Packard’s Explanation Just Makes No Sense - Bloomberg

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