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Hewlett Delays Shipment of Powerful New Computer

September 26, 1986|From Reuters

PALO ALTO — Hewlett-Packard announced Thursday that it is delaying shipment of a powerful business computer regarded as a key element in its development plans.

Hewlett said the HP 3000 Series 930 business model minicomputer--which is more powerful than a personal computer but smaller than a mainframe--will be shipped in the middle of 1987 instead of late 1986 as planned. Hewlett cited the need for "additional tuning requirements" for the system's software.

The delay in deliveries of the Spectrum computer is a serious setback in the fifth-largest U.S. computer maker's bid to expand in business markets from its scientific stronghold, analysts say.

The company said the delay would have little effect on 1986 revenue, but analysts said the six-month delay would almost certainly have a negative impact on fiscal 1987 earnings. Some questioned HP's long-term prospects, saying it virtually bet everything on the project, tying up 1,000 workers in its development and making it the centerpiece of its development plans.

The introduction of Spectrum had raised Wall Street's expectations that the company's earnings would shine next year, once the computers, priced at $225,000 each, headed for the market.

Hewlett-Packard shares plunged $4 to $39.50, leading the New York Stock Exchange most-active list.

"It is quite bad news for the company," said William Zachmann, industry consultant with International Data Corp. "It is certainly not going to enhance sales of the computers once they are available."

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