IBM posts strong numbers

Despite predictions that technology shares will take a beating in the current economic crisis, IBM Corp. has reported a robust preliminary quarterly profit and will stand by its full-year outlook, reports Reuters for Information Week.

Shares of IBM rose 6 percent in after-market trade on the news on Wednesday, which came after technology shares have been hammered by fears that a global recession would crush corporate information technology spending. European tech giant SAP AG warned this week that it had seen a sudden drop-off in software sales in September.

The Armonk, N.Y., technology titan said its third-quarter net income rose 20 percent to $2.8 billion. Earnings per share from continuing operations rose to $2.05, compared to $1.68 a year earlier.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $25.3 billion, including 3 points from currency benefits, IBM said.

Analysts were looking for earnings of $2.01 per share on revenue of $26.5 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

IBM affirmed its forecast that 2008 earnings per share would be at least $8.75, representing year-on-year growth of 22 percent.

Big Blue shares, which had fallen 5.33 percent to close at $90.55 on the New York Stock Exchange, rose to $96 in after-hours trading.

IBM ranks No. 16 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

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