IBM Profits Beat Expectations, but Sales Fall Short Again
IBM’s earnings were $3.99 a share versus a consensus of $3.96, and amounted to a rise of about six percent over the year-ago quarter. Revenue was $23.7 billion, more than $1 billion short of the expected $24.8 billion. IBM shares fell by more than $11, or more than six percent, in after-hours trading.
It was the sixth straight quarter for a decline in sales at Big Blue. Sales fell two percent year on year after adjusting for currency effects. The drop was led by a contraction in sales in its Systems and Technology business — mostly hardware — which fell 16 percent after adjusting for currency effects. Sales of Power Systems, IBM’s line of Unix servers — a market where it competes with Hewlett-Packard and Oracle — fell 38 percent.
Demand in international markets, long an IBM strength, fell as well. Sales in those markets — which IBM calls its growth markets — fell by nine percent, and sales in the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China fell 15 percent.
Revenue in the Global Technology Services segment fell one percent after adjusting for currency, and the business services segment was flat. Software sales increased by about two percent.