Will H-P’s Earnings Report Carry This Nasty Surprise?

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) is expected to announce what could be the largest mass layoffs in the company’s history Wednesday after the it releases quarterly results.

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According to media reports, the company could cut as many as 25,000 to 35,000, or 7 percent to 10 percent of its 350,000 employee base. CEO Meg Whitman is looking to cut jobs in order to reduce expenses, offset declining revenue, and free up funds for research and development.

Whitman took over as CEO after questions were raised about the relationship between then CEO Mark Hurd and a former actress, who was employed by HP as a contractor. The company has had a difficult time acclimating to a new technological landscape that includes additional competitors like tablets and smartphones made by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Since Hurd’s resignation in August 2010, the company has shed more than half of its stock price. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of 91 cents per share, a 27 percent decrease from the same period in 2011. Revenue is expected to decline 5 percent from $29.9 billion last year. Shares of HP were down 4.4 percent to $20.82 in midday trading.

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