He's getting crushed.
Another director, Ralph Whitworth, is in even worse shape, though he doesn't feel as much personal pain.
Whitworth runs a "value" fund out of San Diego known as
Relational Investors LLC
. In other words, he manages money. And he's bullish HPQ. So bullish that he loaded up this past spring adding millions of shares to his fund's allocation.
Consider one of his buys. On May 31, Relational Investors picked up 3,092,158 additional shares of HPQ at an average price of $22.54. That's an investment of $69,697,241.
Using HPQ's Friday close of $12.44, that lot is now worth just $38,466,445, a decline of about 45%. Whitworth's firm is long just shy of 35 million shares of HPQ, according to the latest documents filed with the SEC.
If this was an "activist" move by Whitworth, it's not working. He's overweight HPQ, he doesn't own enough to get very hostile, he's getting killed on the position and if he wields any influence on the company's board, it's having no positive impact.
Don't follow the noise that surrounds insider buys and sells, particularly when you hear people yelp about "value" from the bullish side. On the bearish side, it's popular to blab uninformed that insiders sell because they don't believe in their company. Often, that sentiment could not be farther from the truth.
-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.