HP's Q3 beats estimates, but sales drop across the board

Revenue was down in nearly every business unit with the exception of HP's Enterprise Group.

Hewlett-Packard published third quarter results after the bell on Thursday that managed to beat expectations, even though the company's lackluster legacy business saw sales decline.

The tech giant reported a net income of $854 million, or 47 cents per share (statement).

Non-GAAP earnings were 88 cents per share on a revenue of $25.3 billion, down 8 percent year-over-year.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 85 cents per share with $25.64 billion in revenue.

Revenue was down in nearly every business unit. Personal computers and systems revenue fell 13 percent from a year ago to $7.5 billion. Printing revenue fell 9 percent to $5.1 billion. Revenue for the company's outsourcing unit Enterprise Services was down 11 percent year-over-year. Software and financial services revenue both dropped 6 percent.

The bright spot was HP's Enterprise Group, with sales rising 2 percent year-over-year to $7 billion.

The report comes just months ahead of HP's plan to separate into two public companies on November 1. The faster growing HP Enterprise will focus on the company's software group for large and small businesses, while HP Inc will retain the company's printer, personal systems, and services and solutions units.

For the current quarter ending in November, HP expects its earnings to range from 92 cents to 98 cents per share, with full-year earnings in the range of $3.59 to $3.65 per share. Analysts had expected Q4 EPS of $1.