Morning Buzzers: Dell Plunges, HP Recovers, J.C. Penney Catches a Bid

Shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) gained 0.51 percent in early morning trading on Wednesday. The company announced a large accounting charge related to allegations of fraud tied to its Autonomy software unit. Alleged accounting “improprieties” at the acquired company led to a one-time accounting charge of $8.8 billion, Hewlett-Packard said. The charge is linked to the “associated impact of those improprieties, failures and misrepresentations on the expected future financial performance of the Autonomy business over the long-term,” the company said in a statement. Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) shares traded lower today.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares gained 0.37 percent today after closing in red on Tuesday, despite more positive remarks by Topeka Capital analyst Brian White. He believes the tech giant will have a standout holiday shopping season, since tablets are in high demand. According to a Consumer Electronics Association survey, tablets were the most-desired holiday present among U.S. adults with 16 percent of the vote, while television sets followed with 10 percent and smartphones came in next at 8 percent. White said Apple’s products will be particularly in demand. “This holiday season will belong to Apple, as the product lineup has never been stronger with a recent refresh across 80 percent of the company’s portfolio, combined with spending trends in the consumer electronics world that favor areas such as tablets and smartphones,” the analyst said.

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Shares of Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) suffered a 0.67 percent loss in pre-market trading after reporting dismal third quarter results. For the three-month period ended on November 3, the company’s loss was $10 million, or 3 cents per share, missing analysts already-lowered expectations. In comparison, Best Buy reported a profit of $156 million, or 42 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) shares gained on Tuesday. Speculation about a leveraged buyout surrounded the retailer. The rumors have gained some degree of credence mainly because Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, said that private equity funds expressed interest in the company in the past. Furthermore, company director Javier Teruel purchased $2 million worth of shares at about $16 each last week, the largest insider buy in at least 9 years, according to InsiderScore.com.

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