Feeds

IBM ignores foundering economy with top notch Q4

2008 looking okay too

SANS - Survey on application security programs

IBM did its best to calm fears of an imploding economy by posting strong fourth quarter results and issuing an optimistic take on the months to come.

The computing giant enjoyed a 10 per cent (4 per cent in constant currency) gain in revenue to $28.9bn. IBM also saw income rise 14 per cent year-on-year to $4bn. Most of IBM's major businesses contributed to the gains, including a much stronger performance out of the services units. In addition, sales in "emerging economies" stood out, according to IBM CFO Mark Loughridge, speaking during a conference call.

"This turned out to be a great quarter," Loughridge said. "In fact, it's the strongest revenue and profit performance in almost a decade."

The IBM results arrive during an extended US financial markets slide. Even nervous investors, however, were pleased enough with IBM's figures to send shares higher more than three per cent in after-hours trading, at the time of this report. (It should be noted that IBM reported preliminary figures for the quarter earlier in the week.)

Turning to individual businesses, IBM's Global Technology Services unit posted a 16 per cent year-over-year rise in revenue to $10bn. Global Business Services rose as well by 17 per cent to $5bn.

"This is the best (services) performance in years," Loughridge said.

IBM's Systems and Technology business, which includes server and storage hardware, dropped off by four per cent to $6.8bn. Unix server and storage sales helped during the period, while mainframe sales came in below hopes, falling 15 per cent. Microelectronics sales also failed to impress.

Loughridge believes that mainframe sales will improve in the next quarter when IBM unveils new hardware. The CFO revealed that the fresh mainframes will be announced and made available in late Feb.

In addition, Loughridge said that new low-end Power6-based servers will arrive by the end of the quarter along with new Unix virtualization software.

Software sales rose 12 per cent to $6.3bn, driven by middleware gains.

IBM's Global Financing group also pumped revenue by eight per cent to $668m.

For the full year, IBM's revenue rose eight per cent to $98.8bn. Meanwhile, income rose 11 per cent to $10.4bn.

When asked about the rather troubling global economic conditions, Loughridge held onto his optimism. IBM expects to see 2008 gains from mainframes, Unix systems, software and services.

In addition, the company sees the current housing and credit crisis as quite different from the dotcom blowout.

"I think the risk and issues you might see will be different from the last downturn," Loughridge said. "The last downturn was really characterized by overcapacity. I don't see that being the issue as we go into 2008."

IBM expects earnings per share growth to hit at least 15 per cent during 2008. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.