IBM Growth in Americas Slower than Overseas

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-01-17
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - IBM said on Thursday that revenue from the Americas rose 5 percent, slower than other regions as overseas units showed the strongest gains, and said computer hardware sales declined.

Fourth-quarter net income at the world's largest computer services company advanced to $3.95 billion, or $2.80 per share, from $3.46 billion, or $2.31 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $28.9 billion from $26.3 billion.

International Business Machines Corp said in preliminary results on Monday that earnings per share from continuing operations had jumped above analysts' average expectations, driven by strength in Asia, Europe and emerging countries. IBM said it was on track to reach its 2010 growth target, which calls for earnings per share of $11.

IBM's Monday announcement sent its stock sharply higher and eased concerns that a slowing U.S. economy was crimping spending on technology, until recently a safe haven for investors fleeing housing, banking and consumer-discretionary stocks.

IBM shares, down 17 percent before Monday's announcement from a 52-week high on October 11, have added 5 percent this week and trade at about 13 times estimated 2008 earnings per share, about the same as rival Hewlett-Packard Co.

(Reporting by Philipp Gollner; Editing by Braden Reddall)

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