As HP Inc reports strong Q4, Autonomy founder is charged in US

30 Nov 2018

Image: alexeynovikov/

Irish-born Autonomy founder Mike Lynch charged with alleged fraud in US over sale of company to Hewlett-Packard in 2011.

Tech giant HP Inc has reported strong Q4 revenues of $15.4bn, yielding it a tidy $1.5bn in net income.

For the full fiscal year 2018, HP reported earnings of $5.3bn on revenues of $58.5bn, which were up 12pc.

The California-headquartered company saw sales rise across all platforms including desktops up 20pc, workstations/personal systems up 6pc, print supplies up 22pc, print/commercial hardware up 8pc, print/consumer up 4pc and notebooks up 40pc.

“Our results once again demonstrate HP’s consistent performance with full-year non-GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] EPS [earnings per share] growth of 22pc year over year and free cash flow generation of $4.2bn,” said Dion Weisler, president and CEO of HP Inc.

“These results reflect our continued innovation across the portfolio and sharp execution across segments and regions as we position HP for continued long-term sustainable growth.”

In 2014, Hewlett-Packard split into two companies – HP Inc and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise – to regain momentum, particularly in its then-ailing PC and devices division.

HP still reels from Autonomy buy

While the results for HP in the fourth quarter were rosy, the company is still counting the costs from the fall-out of Hewlett-Packard’s ill-fated acquisition of UK tech firm Autonomy, the software giant founded by Irish-born entrepreneur Mike Lynch.

Hewlett-Packard acquired Autonomy in 2011 for $10.3bn and later had to write down the value by $8.8bn based on what it claims were false and misleading accounts.

It has emerged that Lynch has been charged with fraud in the US.

According to an indictment filed in a court in San Francisco, Lynch is alleged to have used false and misleading statements from 2009, 2010 and early 2011 to “make Autonomy more attractive” to potential purchasers.

Lynch is understood to have made $815m when HP acquired Autonomy.

According to Bloomberg, Lynch’s lawyers have described the indictment as a “travesty” and said that HP is making Lynch a “scapegoat” for HP’s “long history of failed acquisitions”.

“There was no conspiracy at Autonomy and no fraud against HP for the [US Department of Justice] to take up,” attorneys Chris Morvillo and Reid Weingarten said a statement.

HP signage on a building. Image: alexeynovikov/

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years