Frank Quattrone symbolizes the best and worst of Wall Street. The infamous investment banker became a legend taking public some of the hottest tech companies — such as Netscape, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) — during the dotcom bubble. In the process he made his clients mega-millions, but also allocating pre-IPO shares to Credit Suisse’s favored few (Credit Suisse settled, so Quattrone escaped any legal Scarlett Letters).
How is Quattrone Involved in the Current Hewlett-Packard Accounting Scandal?
Quattrone and his firm Qatalyst were the lead iBankers for Autonomy. Given the fiduciary duty investment bankers have to properly represent assets in the market place, Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) accounting fraud accusations are guaranteed to network their way to Quattrone.
Even worse, CNBC reports “In the light of HP’s offer, rival Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) made a rather sniffy statement about Quattrone having “shopped” Autonomy to them as well. A dispute erupted over whether a PowerPoint presentation prepared for a visit by Quattrone and Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s founder and chief executive, to Oracle, was part of a sales pitch. Oracle even published the presentation online with a release accusing Lynch of telling “whoppers.””
Yikes. If Larry Ellison thought Qatalyst and Autonomy were hyping their company and telling lies during the sales process, the FBI will surely have plenty to suspect as they are now involved in the Hewlett-Packard investigation…
CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Will Blame Shifting Create a Positive “Catalyst for Hewlett-Packard’s Stock”?
One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework focuses on catalysts that will move a company’s stock. Our recent analysis of the accounting scandal indicated shares of HPQ were in trouble. Now that a celebrity scapegoat is on the scene, HP has a chance to create lots of headlines claiming they will recoup most or all of their damages from Qatalyst, Autonomy’s owners, and any other parties who misrepresented the deal.
How Will This Affect Hewlett-Packard’s Stock?
Although this definitely does not make Hewlett-Packard a BUY, the blame shifting will help mitigate the downside in share price losses.
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