Arik Hesseldahl

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IBM Results Beat Expectations on Strong Hardware Sales

Computing giant IBM reported earnings of $5.3 billion, or $4.18 a share, on revenue of $29 billion. Per-share profits were up 16 percent, and sales grew 9 percent. Analysts had been looking for $4.08 EPS.

The results were led by strong growth in sales of IBM’s System Z mainframe servers, which were up 69 percent. That contributed to a 21 percent boost in sales in the Systems and Technology segment, which totaled $6.3 billion. Software sales were $7 billion, up 7 percent. Services revenue was $10.2 billion, up 2 percent.

It finished the year with earnings of $11.52, up 15 percent, on sales of $99.9 billion, which were up 4 percent form 2009. It was the eighth year in a row of double-digit per-share profit growth.

Looking ahead to the new fiscal year, IBM said it expects per-share earnings of at least $12.56 on a GAAP basis and at least $13 on a non-GAAP basis. This would put it on track to meet its road map that calls for earning of at least $20 a share in operating profit by 2015.

IBM shares rose 65 cents to close at $150.65 on the New York Stock Exchange, which amounts to a record, and climbed as high as $155 in after-hours trading.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work