New York, New York–(Newsfile Corp. – April 15, 2020) – Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm, reminds investors in HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) (“HP” or the “Company”) of the April 20, 2020 deadline to seek the role of lead plaintiff in a federal securities class action that has been filed against the Company.
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The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of all those who purchased HP common stock between February 23, 2017 and October 3, 2019 (the “Class Period”). The case, Electrical Workers Pension Fund, Local 103, I.B.E.W. v. HP Inc. et al, No. 20-cv-01260 was filed on February 19, 2020, and has been assigned to Judge Susan Illston.
The lawsuit focuses on whether the Company and its executives violated federal securities laws by falsely emphasizing that its four-box model was an accurate, reliable tool to determine demand and revenue in the Company’s Supplies business, and reassuring investors that, based on the four-box model, HP had a “clear line of sight to supply stabilization.”
On February 27, 2019, after the close of trading, HP reported that total Supplies revenue was down 3%, with a 9% decline in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (“EMEA”), for the first quarter of fiscal 2019. On an earnings call held that day, HP management attributed the shortfall to weaker than predicted demand from commercial customers in EMEA driven by an increase in online sales, where HP had a lower market share and faced more competition from cheaper third-party alternatives than in the US. HP admitted to a larger problem with its four-box model: it had been using incorrect Supplies market share assumptions and, contrary to its previous statements, in fact had limited “visibility into the downstream channel ecosystem” and had failed to accurately predict “a decline in share and, to a lesser extent, pricing,” most significantly for Supplies in HP’s commercial channels.
On this news, the Company’s stock price fell from $23.85 per share on February 27, 2019 to $19.73 per share on February 28, 2019: a $4.12 or 17.27% drop.
Then, on May 30, 2019, at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference, former CEO and named Defendant Dion Weisler disclosed additional detail on the lack of telemetry data, admitting that the consumer segment of the Supplies business had had telemetry data for years, meaning that management had known all along the importance of telemetry data for an accurate model and that the commercial Supplies business lacked this key input.
On this news, the Company’s stock price fell from $19.14 per share on May 30, 2019 to $18.68 per share on May 31, 2019: a $0.46 or 2.4% drop.
Then, on August 22, 2019, after the market closed, HP announced in a press release, also filed on Form 8-K with the SEC, that Defendant Weisler would step down at the end of October 2019 due to a family health matter. HP also announced disappointing earnings results for the third quarter of fiscal 2019, with Supplies revenue down 7% year-over-year. Management also revised Supplies revenue guidance even further down, to 4% or 5% down for fiscal 2019 from previous guidance of 3%.
On this news, the Company’s stock price fell from $18.93 per share on August 22, 2019 to $17.81 per share on August 23, 2019: a $1.12 or 5.92% drop.
Finally, on October 3, 2019, after the market closed, HP announced that it was “departing from the purely transactional Supplies-centric business model” and transitioning to a hardware-driven business. The new business model would give customers the choice between a discounted HP printer that can only function with HP Supplies or a higher-priced HP printer with the option to choose third-party cartridges. Under the new business model, HP would abandon its use of the four-box model as the Company de-emphasized Supplies revenue and instead would focus on “the key metrics [of] service growth and operating profit dollars, which better reflect the system profitability.” The Company also announced mass layoffs as part of a major company restructuring, in which it expects to cut between 7,000 to 9,000 positions, or up to 16% of its global workforce, over three years.
On this news, the Company’s stock price fell from $18.40 per share on October 3, 2019 to $16.64 per share on October 4, 2019: a $1.76 or 9.57% drop.
The court-appointed lead plaintiff is the investor with the largest financial interest in the relief sought by the class who is adequate and typical of class members who directs and oversees the litigation on behalf of the putative class. Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision to serve as a lead plaintiff or not.
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP also encourages anyone with information regarding HP’s conduct to contact the firm, including whistleblowers, former employees, shareholders and others.
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