There is no right for a company to exist just because it has a long history of existing. The tech world is littered with castoffs that thought they had a right to exist: Wang, Digital Equipment, Data General, Burroughs, Control Data, Univac and Nortel. They were storied. They were valuable. Then they were irrelevant, gone, or subsumed for next to nothing.
Right now we are seeing whole companies go away, companies like Research In Motion (RIMM)
, a takeover candidate but not much more. Like Nokia (NOK)
, which is apparently trying to sell the equivalent of its family jewels, its headquarters, to stay afloat. And Eastman Kodak
may soon cease to exist.
I would go so far as to say that Hewlett-Packard may be suffering a Kodak moment. Why is that so hard to fathom? Like Hewlett-Packard, Kodak used to be one of the most important tech companies in the world, a financial powerhouse with the best cameras, the best printing technology, the best pharmaceuticals and the best chemicals. One by one, it sold of its gems or failed to exploit them, right down to the closing of its innovative printer line. Sound familiar?
I had hopes that I might be able to see a Whitman vision. Instead, reality was distorted -- but in a bad way, not a good one. I'll reiterate: under Obama, under Romney, there is no reason to own Hewlett-Packard.
Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long AAPL.
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