IBM misses target but posts gains

IBM misses target but posts gains

IBM has missed analysts' per-share earnings expectations but posted year-over-year income and revenue growth during its just-ended first quarter.

Referring to the "ongoing difficult environment", Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sam Palmisano, characterised the quarter as a strong one for IBM.

He said the company continued to gain share in the markets it considered strategic.

IBM's first-quarter income from continuing operations was $US1.4 billion, up 8 per cent over $US1.3 billion in its first fiscal quarter of 2002.

Revenue for the quarter from continuing operations was $US20.1 billion, up 11 per cent from $US18 billion in the year-ago period.

Revenue from IBM's Global Services business, augmented by its purchase last year of PwC Consulting, rose 24 per cent over last year's first quarter, to $US10.2 billion.

Acquisitions also helped boost the company's software unit, which posted revenue of $US3.1 billion, up 8 per cent year-over-year. That total included the post-acquisition results of Rational Software, which IBM purchased in late February for $US2.1 billion.

Hardware revenue dropped 1 per cent to $US5.8 billion. Some of that decrease comes as IBM sheds troubled operations, through deals such as last year's sale of its unprofitable hard disk drive operations to Hitachi.

The company's Global Financing unit also continues to be a sore spot. Revenue from the division dropped 10 per cent from last year's first quarter to $US705 million.

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