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IBM Q4 results beat estimates
« on: January 14, 2008, 09:14:48 AM »
IBM reported better-than-expected preliminary quarterly results on Monday on strong performances in Asia, Europe and emerging markets, driving its shares up 10 percent and spurring a broader tech rally.

International Business Machines Corp, the world's largest technology services company, said its fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations rose 24 percent to $2.80 a share on a 10 percent increase in revenue to $28.9 billion.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of $2.60 per share and revenue of $27.8 billion for the fourth quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

"The broad scope of IBM's global business --- led by strong operational performance in Asia, Europe and emerging countries --- drove these outstanding results," Samuel Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We are on track to achieve our long-term earnings-per-share roadmap objective in 2010."

IBM said 6 percentage points of its revenue increase in the fourth quarter was due to currency benefits.

IBM said full-year diluted earnings per share rose 18 percent to $7.18, including 5 cents per share related to the sale of the Printing Systems Division in the second quarter. Full-year revenue rose 8 percent to $98.8 billion, including 4 points of currency benefit, it said.

IBM's cash balance at the end of 2007 was more than $16 billion, with strong free cash flow performance, it said.

The company is scheduled to issue its full earnings report on Thursday.

Shares of IBM rose to $107.5 in pre-market trading from their Friday close of $97.67. The news spurred gains in other tech shares, such as Intel Corp , which is due to report results later this week and whose shares rose 2.8 percent to $22.6 in pre-market trading.
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