Hewlett Packard reported a 91 percent drop
in fourth quarter profits Monday as the computer giant took a massive
hit for selling of its now-discontinued webOS tablet computers.
The world's largest technology company by revenue said that its sales in the quarter fell 3 percent to $32.1 billion compared to $33.3 billion a year ago, while profits dropped to $239 million from $2.5 billion last year.
HP said the results reflected $2.2 billion in one-time charges incurred largely for writing down its stock of webOS tablets.
The results were the first issued by the company since the appointment of Meg Whitman as CEO in September. She quickly reversed a controversial decision made by her predecessor Leo Apotheker to spin off the company's PC business, the world's largest, and said that her new plan placed the company in a much stronger position.
"HP has a great opportunity to build on our strong hardware, software, and services franchises with leading market positions, customer relationships, and intellectual property," Whitman said in a statement. "We need to get back to the business fundamentals in fiscal 2012, including making prudent investments in the business and driving more consistent execution."
HP said that its services business grew 2 percent to $9.3 billion in the quarter, while its PC hardware business saw sales fall by 2 percent. The Imaging and Printing Group saw revenue fall 10 percent, HP said.
Revenue in the Americas dropped 4 percent, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa dropped 6 percent. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region grew 3 percent, while the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) generated revenue of 3.8 billion, up 9 percent over the year-ago period, for 12 percent of total HP revenue.
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