Hewlett-Packard: More Woes Ahead - TheStreet

Hewlett-Packard: More Woes Ahead

HP's 'nothing scary' call on Europe sales last month seems far more frightening.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

has grabbed the ax and gone back to the old playbook as optimism fades.

Less than two weeks after assuring investors that business was humming along and that reports of

turbulence in places like Europe

were overstated, H-P ordered up another round of job cuts.

The top PC maker said Tuesday that it will

eliminate an additional 9,000 workers

and take a $1 billion restructuring charge. The new cuts follow a 2008 announcement that the company would eliminate 24,600 jobs and take a $1.7 billion charge. H-P listed a total of 304,000 employees in its last annual report.

The return to cuts marks a reversal of CEO Mark Hurd's position last year when he told

Fortune

that he

wasn't planning any further job cuts

, but didn't "rule out workforce optimization if the economy worsens."

Cuts are nothing new to Hurd, who eliminated 15,000 jobs, or 10% of the workforce soon after his arrival as H-P's new chief in 2005. But H-P seems to be scrambling lately in an attempt to adjust to a changing business and the prolonged tech spending slump.

After watching the mobile device market from the sidelines for years, H-P made a $1.2 billion bid for smartphone maker

Palm

(PALM)

in April. The acquisition is intended to jumpstart the introduction of H-P's phone and tablet devices, which could appear early next year.

Part of the eagerness to cut more costs and expand into growth markets suggest that the PC buying surge in the first half of the year may be running out of steam.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.