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IBM holds its own in Q4

Solid showing

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Like Intel before it, IBM enjoyed a strong fourth quarter across most of its product lines, giving some indication that the big boys are back to a healthy level.

IBM posted revenue of $25.9 billion for the quarter, which is a 9 percent hike over the $23.7 billion reported in 2002. Income rose to $2.7 billion versus $1.9 billion last year and earnings per share jumped to $1.56 versus $1.11.

"We had more than $17 billion in services signings, and good growth in our industry- leading server and WebSphere businesses," said Sam Palmisano, IBM's Chairman and CEO. "Most encouraging is that our On Demand strategy is today a reality -- it has entered the mainstream, and it is increasingly driving our business results."

Whether or not On Demand is a reality is up for debate, but IBM did perform well across the board in services, software and hardware. Its result did not quite match that of fellow tech giant Intel, which posted a 22 percent year-on-year rise in revenue, but Big Blue did make a solid showing.

Revenue from Global Services grew 8 percent year-on-year to $11.4 billion. Hardware revenues also moved higher by 12 percent to $9.1 billion. Personal Systems surged 16 percent to $3.5 billion, and software revenue increased 12 percent to $4.3 billion.

IBM's Technology Group continued to struggle, posting $775 million in revenue - a decrease of 20 percent. IBM has been going through a lengthy reorganization in this business, which includes its microelectronics efforts.

For the full year, IBM saw revenue rise 10 percent to $89.1 billion. Income also grew from $5.3 billion last year to $7.6 billion. ®

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