Hewlett-Packard Q3 Sales Fall 8%

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) announced Q3 earnings today, dropping its top line but pulling a profit on the bottom line. The company reported revenues of $27.2 billion, 8% below 2012's third quarter and just shy of analysts' $27.3 billion estimates.

All business segments saw drops in sales except software, which eked out a seasonally adjusted 1% improvement. Personal systems was hit the hardest, dropping 11% as consumer revenue nosedived 22%.

But even with smaller sales, this year's third quarter came through with positive net earnings of $1.4 billion, compared to Q3 2012's $8.9 billion loss  resulting largely from an $8 billion charge.

For shareholders, Q3's profit translated to adjusted EPS of $0.86, 14% below the prior year but within HP's previously disclosed $0.84 to $0.87 per share range. Non-GAAP operating margins also felt the squeeze, dropping 0.8 percentage points to 8.4%.

Looking ahead, President and CEO Meg Whitman is optimistic about her company's future:

I remain confident that we are making progress in our turnaround. We are already seeing significant improvement in our operations, we are successfully rebuilding our balance sheet, our cost structure is more closely aligned with our revenue and we have reignited innovation at HP, with a focus on the customer.

HP is sticking to its previously announced 2013 GAAP diluted EPS range of $2.67 to $2.71, inclusive of a $0.86-per-share hit from amortization, restructuring, and acquisition charges.


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