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HP Agrees To Pay $6 Mln To Settle SEC Charges On Sales Practices

HP Inc. (HPQ) has agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges levied by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission that the printer maker misled investors by failing to disclose the impact of sales practices undertaken to meet quarterly sales and earnings targets, the SEC said in a statement.

According to the SEC's order, from early 2015 through the middle of 2016, in an effort to meet quarterly sales targets, regional managers at HP used a variety of incentives to accelerate, or "pull-in" to the current quarter, sales of printing supplies that they otherwise expected to materialize in later quarters.

The order also found that, in an effort to meet revenue and earnings targets, managers in one HP region sold printing supplies at substantial discounts to resellers known to sell HP products outside of the resellers' designated territories, in violation of HP policy and distributor agreements.

The order found that HP failed to disclose known trends and uncertainties associated with these sales practices.

The SEC stated that HP changed its go-to-market model in part to address those undisclosed sales practices and undertook a channel inventory reduction that reduced its net revenue by about $450 million during the third and fourth quarters of 2016.

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