Is H-P Looking for a New CEO, or Pining for Their Old One?
On Wednesday, chatter on the floor had everything to do with the future of Hewlett Packard after a published report in the Wall Street Journal suggested some big changes may be on the horizon.
Specifically the paper said H-P’s board may be looking to replace CEO Leo Apotheker with someone like eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
The speculation comes amid strong skepticism about the company’s direction.
”Shareholders are beside themselves over the decline in share price, the company missing targets, the spinout of the PC business in such a haphazard way and the debacle with web OS,” explains Jefferies analyst Peter Misek.
”Meg Whitman – it’s probably the right move,” Misek adds. “She’s an Internet pioneer – and the future of HP is based on embracing the Internet fully with their devices -- like Apple has. She would be a great interim step – and certainly we wouldn’t expect any violent surprises from her."
Of course, that begs the question – just how likely is the H-P board to act. According to CNBC sources the board is meeting to ‘talk about issues’ and a new CEO could be one of them.
Trader Brian Kelly thinks something else is going on at H-P. He says if H-P shows Apotheker the door, it opens up the possibility of HP being a take out target.
And Kelly suggests Oracle could be interested. “The stock is cheap and former H-P CEO Mark Hurd is over at Oracle. Perhaps it opens that door.”
During Mark Hurd's tenure, he slashed expenses, increased profitability and unlocked sharholder value - with the stock touching a 10-year high around $53 in April 2010.
And that leads to perhaps the most important question for Fast Money fans – how do you trade it?
Trader Steve Cortes says if you want to be long in this market – and he doesn’t – but if you do, developments make H-P worth a flier.
Trader Steve Grasso says price is truth and the stock is climbing on the news, but he adds that his clients are selling the pop.
Trader Joe Terranova is disgusted. He thinks the leaks are going to take a big toll. "You know what this does for H-P. It puts it in the same position as Yahoo! I think we see employee defections."
Trader Stephen Weiss says don't hold onto hopes that Oracle is going to buy H-P. "It's a $50 billion market cap. And I'd assume they'd have to pay a premium to that."
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Trader disclosure: On Sep 19, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Karabell owns AAPL; Karabell owns CSCO; Karabell owns GOOG; Karabell owns IBM; Karabell owns JPM; Karabell owns FDX; Karabell owns MSFT; Cortes is long SO; Cortes is long CAG; Cortes is long Treasuries; Cortes is long Gold; Cortes is short EUR; Cortes is short Aussie; Cortes is short S&P futures; Weiss is short CNX; Weiss is short BTU; Weiss is long SDS; Weiss is long TWM; Weiss is long EUO; Weiss is long QCOM; Weiss is long RIMM; Weiss is long
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