Got the 2003 HP Annual Report...



#2

...and no mention of calculators at all.

(Last year's report did mention calculators but only in passing.)

I wonder what's going on here. Either HP doesn't care or they think investors don't care.

The report was the usual big-corporation combination of public-relations fluff and the numbers info that only an accountant could love.

Comments, anyone?

- Michael


#3

I would only read into it that HP no longer think calculators are 'sexy' or growth engines, some may even see them as a back water for the company (I don't think IBM make any hardware now).

Also mentioning calculators may encourage readers of the report to double check the figures or calculate future (real) growth of the company!

Here in the UK company reports do list all the figures but who knows what the backroom boys have done to come up with them?

A European company (Parmalat) was supposed to be OK then somebody found a rather large hole in the finances that destroyed much of the current shareholder's investment.

I'm not for one second suggesting HP is doing anything like that but if the experts have such a hard time reading into the published figures what chance has the 'normal' person?


#4

I noticed in their recent radio and print advertisements they refer to the company only as "HP". "Hewlett-Packard" is nowhere to be heard or seen except in some fine print.
What name do they use on the cover of the annual report?


#5

Hi Britt,

They use "HP" in their annual report, both on the cover and inside. Their 10-K report lists their official corporate name, "Hewlett-Packard Company" but is thereafter abbreviated to HP.

I suspect that this is not an attempt to downplay the roles of Messrs. Hewlett and Packard, but just using the short name everyone else uses.

The Shareholder's Meeting document opens with a letter from Carly Fiorino, apparently on her own stationary. The "HP Invent" logo is the centerpiece of the letterhead and the name "Hewlett-Packard Company" is shown along with the address and Web Page. This is probably the standard HP house style.

- Michael

#6

I would agree with you that calculators are no longer "sexy" and that's why they get no mention. There is a 2-page story about how HP has teamed up with Starbucks and T-Mobile to bring Wi-Fi Internet access to Starbucks customers. I'm a happy customer myself, so no Starbucks bashing here, please! (I don't use their Internet access though.)

I don't think there's any indication that HP's cooking the books. Not that I'd know.

- Michael


#7

I just got done with The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron (by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind) -- pretty amazing stuff.

I haven't followed up myself, but as the authors relate it, most of the more creative "partnerships" and pseudo-subsidiaries were at least mentioned in the quarterly statements. It seems that most investors and analysts (not to mention the banks, Arthur Andersen's auditors, Kenneth Lay and the company's Board!) were simply too giddy with Enron's apparent success to bother checking up on things.

It would be an instructive exercise to take a retrospective look for red flags in Enron's contemporary investor publications and SEC filings.

#8

The calculators can't be more than 1% of Hewlett-Compaqard's profits, if that. This isn't about sexy, it's about $$$. The only way to make sure that the calculators stay around is for them to spin it off into a separate company. Let the old-time technogeeks run it and call it "The Real H-P Company." Anyone from HP read this board? Anyone know how to contact Walter Hewlett? Maybe he'd like to back this venture.

#9

Tom (UK) wrote:

Quote:
(I don't think IBM make any hardware now).

Au contraire: IBM makes a lot of hardware. Look at their POWER range of processors (which have swept the games console market, with the X-Box the last to fall), their z-Series mainframes, the i-Series (AS/400) and so on. I've already commented here that, for me, my Thinkpad now occupies the place that used to be my HP calcs (goes everywhere with me, exemplifies neat design, etc.).

Even the stuff they subcontract to others, they still design - unlike HP, which just tells Kimpo, "give us an RPN calc to keep the whiners quiet". . .

Best,

--- Les [http://www.lesbell.com.au]

#10

Where do I get a copy?

Its still winter and I need
more things to throw in my woodstove.

:o)


#11

Hi Norm,


We were wondering when you would weigh in on this one!

BTW, last week I felt a need for a 34-c: I was on the road, as a passenger, at night, and bored of the radio---and I couldn't read the 48GX without the dome light (I know, I know, what a beast...) and my wife did not want the light on. If only I had a 34-c----I could have written so many nifty programs!

Seriously, though, I remember using my father's SR??? LED calculator back in the 70's on road trips---I would compute our average speed, ETA, etc to keep me "busy" (and help us make the ferry---my father is the king of all procrastinators....


Regards,

Bill

#12

Hi Nick,

Check out the HP Web Site. All the annual reports, 10-K, etc. are in PDF format. Won't keep you warm at night, though. :)

Or buy some HP stock and get the reports mailed right to your door, like I do.

- Michael


#13

OK I buy one share HP stock.

I get all reports and proxy voting sent to my door,
all go in woodstove, I stay very warm .

:o)


#14

It seems to me that to maximize your fuel dollar, you would want to find the company with the lowest price but the largest annual report.

So you're really trying to maximize the quantity

(kg "fuel") / ($ spent on "fuel")

This assumes that 1 kg of every annual report gives off the same amount of heat when burnt...probably reasonable as a first approximation.

Unfortunately the industry analyists don't seem to rate a company's cost per weight, so you're on your own.

- Michael


#15

Unfortunately, the glossy paper used in these documents
has a very high clay-content, making it nearly useless
for fuel: It burns only grudgingly, and generates a
tremendous excess of ashes. Sorry, but company reports
are basically just an incredable waste.

grant..


#16

What's more, this kind of paper can also leave a nasty residue inside the chimney, eventually leading to fire danger. Looks like some of the glossy stuff condensates on its way out... Same with the brick packs from milk, orange juice etc. Unusable and even dangerous.

#17

This reminds me of a little game I've been playing with one of my former employers for the past few years. By the time I finally quit (after nearly twelve years with the company, and with about the last five years being absolutely miserable there) I was very happy to leave. As a parting gift, they caused me a lot of headaches in getting the money in my 401K plan rolled over to another 401K with my new employer. The instructions they gave me for making the transfer were wrong and it had to be done over again, resulting in a long delay.

After it finally was finished there still were a few dollars left in the old 401K (probably from interest earned while they were fooling around getting the money transferred). I was sick of dealing with them and just decided to drop it. That was about six or seven years ago. So I'm still getting quarterly earnings reports and annual reports and all kinds of other stuff. Every time I get one of those multi-page, glossy, 4-color reports I think of how much money they're throwing away every year on printing, postage and administrative fees on account of my $25 or so "retirement fund."

Assuming no one at the company ever catches the mistake, I plan to request at retirement time that it be distributed as an annuity rather than a lump sum. It would be fun to get a check for a few cents a year for the rest of my life. :-)


#18

Your analyses are correct, although, cleaning out

ashes is part of the game. You put the annual reports

in along with ordinary wood to make a smooth and

enduring fire. Also, about chimney fires, its OK if you

have asbestos-lined stainless steel and a woodstove

that limits the draft air flow. After burning a great

many annual reports, I have noted a chimney fire but it
self-extinguishes and is not a big deal.

Dilbert had a sequence of events in his comic strip life

that closely mirrors this thread. Dilbert wanted to keep

his basement warm, so he bought a little woodstove.

He kept bringing home company documents, more & more

to keep warm. Then the managers really complimented him

strongly, for they noted Dilbert was doing so much

reading of company documents at home. :o)


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