PCs not dead despite difficulties ahead: HP chief

HP Enterprise Group highlights quarter: Meg Whitman

Despite a slowdown in personal computer sales in the latest quarter, Hewlett-Packard Chair and CEO Meg Whitman said Friday she believes PCs are not dead.

"That business, depending on what happens with Windows 10, we think, is actually going to come back over the long term," Whitman predicted, but acknowledged there will be "some difficult quarters ahead."

She added, "There was definitely a consumer pause waiting for Windows 10," the new computer operating system from Microsoft.

HP late Thursday reported earnings that beat estimates, while revenue fell slightly short of forecasts. Personal computer sales continued to weigh on results.

"We outperformed the market. But the markets have been tough in PCs and printing," Whitman told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" in an interview, as the tech giant prepares to separate those businesses from its enterprise endeavors.

"The highlight was the enterprise group" in the latest quarter, she said.

The planned November split will put the slower-growing PC and printer business into a company that'll be known as HP Inc. The faster-growing units aimed at large and small businesses will be housed in another company called HP Enterprise.

"I'll be a holder of both stocks. And I'm excited about both companies," said Whitman, who will be chair of HP Inc. and CEO of HP Enterprise.

Shares of HP surged were up nearly 6 percent in early trading Friday, though year to date they were off about 30 percent as of Thursday's close.

Reflecting on her turnaround plans, she said: "We're a much strong company today than we were four years ago. We're four years into our five-year turnaround journey. And there's lots more stability around the company."

But Whitman cited currency fluctuations as a major question mark going forward. "This is a volatile business. Nobody would have predicted the foreign shock we sort of got in the January, February [and] March time frame."