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IBM evens the keel in Q2

No layoffs this time

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IBM's workers may be safe for another 90 days after the company met its targets for its second quarter.

IBM's revenue for the period hit $22.3bn - a 4 per cent drop from the $23.1bn reported in the same quarter last year. IBM's net income proved more impressive, jumping to $1.82bn from $1.74bn in 2004. These income totals exclude a host of unusual charges, including a $1.1bn gain from IBM's sale of its PC business to Lenovo and a $775m settlement with Microsoft.

Stellar results? Hardly. They were, however, good enough to put some distance between Q2 and a lackluster Q1, which saw IBM fire thousands of workers.

"IBM returned to form in this quarter," said CEO Sam Palmisano. "This performance reinforces our confidence in our business model, and in our mission to apply unique, high-value skills and solutions to transform our clients' businesses."

Services helped drive IBM in the quarter, accounting for $12.0bn in revenue. That's a 6 per cent year-over-year rise. Hardware revenue, excluding PC sales, jumped 5 per cent to $5.0bn. IBM's lines of Unix and x86-based servers again performed well while mainframe sales fell 24 per cent.

Software sales increased 10 per cent to $3.8bn with DB2 and the WebSphere middleware doing most of the dirty work.

IBM's main rival HP is expected to steal the attention of investors and analysts tomorrow when it announces job cuts of its own. ®

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