Almost two years into Whitman's reign at HP, the company remains basically a PC and server company in a world that's swiftly moving toward devices and services. It lacks a presence in phones and tablets, having jettisoned its webOS system under Bradley for Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Phone, which is still a market failure, and for Google (GOOG) Android, where it has no differentiation.
Every move Whitman makes is done with flash, a smile, and promises of momentum. In the first half of the year, investors have been buying that, knowing that -- in conventional terms -- HP is still one of the cheapest tech stocks you can buy.
But if Whitman had won her race to be governor of California in 2010, promises of tomorrow being better, and that austerity must be suffered, would not be working two years in. She's hoping shareholders are more patient than voters, still telling people to trust her while results remain promises and not facts on the ground.
How much longer is that going to work? I give it six months. If HP hasn't made real progress on its biggest problems by January, calls for radical change are going to grow louder.At the time of publication, the author owned shares of GOOG. Follow @DanaBlankenhor This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV