HP Inc. (HPQ) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
According to the complaint for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between February 23, 2017 and October 3, 2019, on June 21, 2016, HP announced a one-time investment of $450 million to buy back supplies from its channel partners to better align supplies inventory levels with demand. Consequently, HP adopted a new approach centered on a “four-box model,” assuring investors it would improve managing and aligning to demand and avert the problems that necessitated the $450 million buy-back. HP continued to emphasize its confidence in the four-box model’s predictability and the revenue growth experienced by it supplies business. However, on February 27, 2019, HP reported disappointing total supplies revenue for first quarter 2019, revealing that its four-box model lacked telemetry data to make reliable market share assumptions. HP later revealed it had used telemetry data for its other segments for years, indicating the Company knew the value of telemetry data and nevertheless, recklessly relied on the four-box model. Finally, on October 3, 2019, HP announced that it was moving away from using the four-box model to a model that de-emphasized supplies revenue and would be cutting up to 16% of its global workforce as part of the restructuring. On this news, HP’s stock price fell nearly 10% to close at $16.64 per share.