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Stocks in this article: HPQ RF I:BKX

That new focus for the company included the expensive acquisition of Autonomy.

Apotheker was dismissed one month later on Sept. 22, 2011, with Meg Whitman taking over as new CEO. After a complete review of HP's businesses and strategy, Whitman and the board of directors decided not to spin-off the PC business, underscoring just how dysfunctional the company's board was, before Whitman took over. HP announced the completion of the Autonomy acquisition on Oct. 3, 2011.

HP on Tuesday said that most of the $8.8 billion "impairment charge is linked to serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation plc that occurred prior to HP's acquisition of Autonomy and the associated impact of those improprieties, failures and misrepresentations on the expected future financial performance of the Autonomy business over the long-term," and that "the balance of the impairment charge is linked to the recent trading value of HP stock."

HP also said that "there will be no cash impact associated with the impairment charge." Excluding the Autonomy charge, the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter operating earnings of $2.3 billion, or $1.16 a share, compared to $2.4 billion, or $1.17 a share, a year earlier. For all of fiscal 2012, the company reported a net loss of $12.7 billion, or $6.41 a share, compared to earnings of $7.1 billion, or $3.32 a share, in fiscal 2011. Excluding one-time items, non-GAAP earnings for fiscal 2012 were $8.0 billion, or $4.05 a share, declining from $10.4 billion, or $4.88 a share, the previous year.

According to a Thomson Reuters transcript, Whitman said during HP's earnings call that "fiscal 2012 was the first year in a multi-year journey to turn HP around," and that the fiscal fourth quarter was "a landmark quarter for new product announcements including our first new line of multi-function printers in seven years, an impressive new line of Windows 8 PCs and the launch of the world's first tablet optimized for the enterprise."

Whitman also touted the company's strengths, saying "HP generated $4.1 billion in cash flow from operations on $30 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, and $10.6 billion for fiscal 2012. To put that number in context, $10.6 billion is more than some of the most respected companies in the world such as Coca Cola, Disney, FedEx, McDonald's and Visa generated operating cash flow in their most recent fiscal years. HP used that cash to make significant progress on rebuilding our balance sheet, reducing our net debt by more than $3 billion in the fourth quarter."

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