BRIC revenues help push IBM profits
Washington, April 18 (IANS) International Business Machines Corp's (IBM) profit jumped 7 percent to $3.1 billion in the first quarter earnings as the tech giant reported ten percent higher revenue in the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Revenue for the quarter was $24.7 billion, up slightly from a year ago as income from the company's growth markets increased 9 percent and 40 countries had double digit revenue growth at constant currency.
The company, one of the enterprise world's largest vendors which has consistently topped Wall Street profit expectations for the past few quarters, reported higher revenue from its software and technology services business, but lower hardware sales.
Excluding certain charges, earnings per share came in at $2.78, above estimates of $2.65.
However, shares of IBM were down 2 percent in after-hours trading as sales narrowly missed analysts' forecasts of $24.8 billion.
IBM expects the future to be brighter: It raised its full-year earnings per share estimates to "at least" $15, up from a previous forecast of $14.85.
"We delivered another excellent software performance, expanded services margins, and continued the momentum in our growth initiatives," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty in a release, citing those factors for IBM's decision to raise its guidance.
"Our investments in growth market countries continued to generate strong revenue growth across software, hardware and services while contributing to the company's ongoing margin expansion," she said.
While revenues from the software segment were $5.6 billion, an increase of 5 percent over the first quarter of 2011, revenues from the systems and technology segment totalled $3.7 billion for the quarter, down 7 percent from the first quarter of 2011.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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