(Story updated with conference call comments from HP CEO Meg Whitman and CFO Cathie Lesjak.)
The tech giant brought in sales of $29.7 billion, down from $31.2 billion in the prior year's quarter, and below analysts' forecast of $30.1 billion.
Excluding items, HP earned $1 a share, in line with its pre-announcement earlier this month, but down from $1.10 a share a year earlier.HP lowered its guidance. For fiscal 2012, the company now expects earnings of $4.05 to $4.07 a share, at the low end of its previously provided outlook. Revenue from HP's Personal Systems Group (PSG) declined 10% in the third quarter, while Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) revenue was down 3%. Services revenue slipped 3%, while Enterprise Servers Storage and Networking (ESSN) dropped 4%. Software revenue, however, jumped 18%. "HP is still in the early stages of a multi-year turnaround, and we're making decent progress despite the headwinds," CEO Meg Whitman said in a statement released after the market close. "During the quarter we took important steps to focus on strategic priorities, manage costs, drive needed organizational change, and improve the balance sheet. We continue to deliver on what we say we will do." The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm released its report following rival Dell's (DELL) underwhelming second-quarter results, released after the market close Tuesday. Speaking during the company's third-quarter conference call, HP executives highlighted the effects of economic headwinds. "The macro was softer than we expected in Q3, and we don't expect that to get better in Q4," CFO Cathie Lesjak said. Whitman also acknowledged that HP needs to improve its sales execution and said the company may eventually shift resources from some of its less-critical projects. HP shares tumbled 4.4% to $18.35 in extended trading on Wednesday. --Written by James Rogers in New York. Follow @jamesjrogers >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices
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