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More obsessive HP Musings...


"Drinks are always half-priced at the Blue Note/ Moral Victories Don't Pay Bar & Grill"


Todd-O, no need to feel bad about not having space in your cemetery for my Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) puts. March is still a long way away (not that I'm holding much hope). Should it come to a burial, in honor of my position having been destroyed on Ash Wednesday I'm going to have them cremated. I'm pretty sure this qualifies as one of the "special situations" in which I'm allowed to dispose of them in that way.

I'm not sure about the number of puts I've buried, either, but I know that if they came back to life I'd want to be somewhere far away when it happened.

More thoughts from the Blue Note Cafe:

* Don't expect them to say so when they report earnings tomorrow, but I'm hearing the giddy slap of high-fives at Dell (DELL) all the way from here. Between the turmoil at HP and IBM (IBM) trying to pitch their PC division to the Chinese, the corporate sales pitch from Dell is a short and sweet: "We'll still be here, intact, a year from now."

* Here's the thing on this whole "Break-up value" of HP notion: if you're going to sell something, whether in a private or public transaction, you've got to have buyers. The price those buyers will pay depends on "perceived value (read: demand) and "supply". The hidden-break-up-value thesis is wrong for the same general reason the "real value of bad retailers is the real estate" idea is wrong.... there aren't enough real buyers to actually pay for the assets. Even if there were, there's too much supply for everyone to be a seller.

* Walter Hewlett refusing the invitation to do the Icky Shuffle on Fiorina's figurative grave. That's an Old School class act, brothers and sisters. Recall that when Hewlett, the son of the company co-founder and then a board member, opposed the HP/ Compaq train-wreck Fiorina et al not only drummed him off the board, they took out full-freaking-page ads in the WSJ calling him a clueless old dilettante.

Silicon Valley's CEO-set has snuffed scores of careers for much lesser offenses than the one the HP board laid on Mr. Hewlett. Larry Ellison would be buying prime-time ad space to ensure the maximum audience for his "I told you so!" trumpeting, were he in Hewlett's shoes.

* More than $21 Million in severance pay. As we'd say back in the homeland, "Jeez, the HP board swallowed her pitch all the way up to the bobber!"

* Speaking of which... Michael Capellas being talked about as the new HP CEO. Does anyone else notice how CEO's are much like NBA coaches in that the replacement pool under consideration for any change at the top seems to have about 3-people who never go away?

* In a rather obscurely-related vein, even I am sick of (or at least a little creeped out about) seeing myself on TV so much. I'm doing Bullseye tonight because a) I'm openly a media hussy b) Good people there c) HPQ is up large and I've been an open bear; you gotta take it like a man when you lose. Doing so isn't enough to make anyone particularly "special" but it's a prereq. (E.g. The very different legacies of Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson)

* The economic value of an HP break-up is actually much less than that which would be created with a stock split.

* Todd-O, dissing the wardrobe? I imagine I feel just as I would hearing the same thing from Bill Belichick: I've gotta lot of general respect for the source but I'll take my cues on "TV Attire" elsewhere.

* Off to prepare my put position funeral shroud....

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