HP (HPQ) Under Investigation for Bribery

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is in "advanced discussions" with U.S. regulators in an attempt to settle investigations into allegations of bribery, according to AllThingsD. Shares of the computer company fell 0.5% to $28.05 on the news.

HP disclosed the discussions in its annual 10-K filing with the SEC. The company is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC. The two regulators are alleging that HP employees paid millions of dollars to secure an IT contract with a Russian government agency. The deal took place between 2001 and 2006, and had HP install new IT networks for the agency.

German authorities already indicted four people in the deal on charges of bribery, breach of trust and tax evasion. In the U.S., the deal is under investigation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In the 10-K filing HP said it is cooperating with all agencies looking into the deal. Mexican and Polish are also looking into bribery allegations in their respective countries.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Hewlett-Packard as a "hold" with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate HEWLETT-PACKARD CO (HPQ) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk."

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