IBM under fire from all sides

IBM under fire from all sides

IBM last week announced first-quarter earnings that were below those of last year's first quarter, as a result of extraordinary charges and price wars in the PC market.

A decline in Asian revenue and the effect of currency exchange rates also played a part in the weak quarter.

First-quarter 1998 net earnings totalled $US1 billion, compared with $US1.2 billion in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased 2 per cent (6 per cent at constant currency) in the first quarter of 1998, to $US17.6 billion.

IBM chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner called the quarter "unusual".

"First, the bunching of one-time events we predicted in January -- two important acquisition charges and Olympics marketing expenses -- did in fact take place," he said.

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