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IBM Earnings Beat Expectations

Things might generally look bad financially, but IBM isn’t complaining. With an income of $4.4 billion for the fourth quarter of the year and revenue of $27 billion (actually down 6%) it exceeded Wall Street expectations, with earnings of $3.28 a share, more than the $3.03 analysts expected, and up 12% over the same period the year before.

In a statement, Samuel Palmisano, IBM chief executive, said:

"With our strong financial position, solid recurring revenue and profit streams and global reach, we are confident about 2009 and, based on our 2008 performance, we are ahead of pace on our roadmap for $10 to $11 per share."

"A strong fourth quarter capped an outstanding year. In 2008, IBM performed well in an extremely difficult economic environment. Clearly our strategic transformation — migrating to the more profitable segments of the industry, investing in growth regions of the world, and driving productivity through global integration — is continuing to pay dividends."

After-hours trading boosted IBM shares 4%, to $85.14.

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