BOSTON (TheStreet) -- John Paulson has already lost a friend in bank stocks. Now it looks like technology is turning against him too.
shares plummeted more than 20% Friday to $23.54 after the tech company and
component announced a complete corporate restructuring late Thursday. HP said it plans to spin off its computer business, which it acquired after a $25 billion merger with
. HP said it is ditching its WebOS hardware, and the company also announced a $11 billion buyout of U.K. software company
John Paulson (Paulson & Co.)
Touted by value investors as a potential turnaround story under new CEO Leo Apotheker, HP only gets cheaper and cheaper, much to the chagrin of investors like John Paulson and his
hedge fund. Shares of HP are down more than 44% this year and well over 50% since April 2010, when the stock traded above $50. HP now has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of only 4.4, although that's little solace to Paulson, who reported ownership of 23.5 million shares of HP as of June 30.
If he is still a holder of HP shares now, this drop only adds to Paulson's migraine. Paulson's flagship Advantage Plus Fund has plummeted 34% this year through the first two weeks of August, according to a
report late Wednesday. During the second quarter, Paulson slashed his holdings in underperforming bank stocks, like
Bank of America
, which along with gold investments helped propel Paulson to a record $5 billion profit last year.
Paulson isn't alone in his HP misery if he's still a shareholder. Several other hedge funds bought up shares of HP recently and continued to hold millions of shares as of June 30, according to the latest round of regulatory filings. Hedge funds that manage more than $100 million are required to disclose their equity holdings, options and convertible debt on a Form 13F filed to the
Securities and Exchange Commission
within 45 days of the end of a quarter. Funds aren't required to report short positions betting on declines.
Among HP's largest hedge fund shareholders as of June 30 were David Tepper's
, David Shaw's
D.E. Shaw & Company
, and Steve Cohen's
Some hedge funds are likely having worse days than others today based on HP's massive drop. Boston-based value investment firm
upped its stake in HP last quarter by 2 million shares, bringing its total position to 15.3 million, second only to Paulson. D.E. Shaw nearly doubled its stake to about 1.7 million as of June 30.
Others perhaps didn't have as much faith in HP. SAC Capital dumped 1.1 million shares in the second quarter, leaving Cohen's fund with a position of only 91,000. Other funds, including Leon Cooperman's
and Bruce Kovner's
completely dumped stakes in HP last quarter.
Paulson, though, has to be most disappointed, assuming he still holds 23.5 million shares of HP. With his fund down 34% and the media spotlight on him, losing nearly $140 million on one stock in one day is the last thing he wants to see.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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