Results at I.B.M. Defy the Slump in Technology

.B.M. reported earnings and revenues yesterday that slightly surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. The results provide another sign that the company’s emphasis on services and software is enabling it to withstand the continuing slump in technology spending better than most of its rivals.
The encouraging results from I.B.M., the world’s largest computer company, came one day after Intel, the largest computer chip maker, reported disappointing quarterly figures, which contributed to the decline in technology shares and stock market averages yesterday. I.B.M. shares fell $3.58, to $64.90, during the day, but when it announced its quarterly results after the close of trading, shares more than recovered that loss.
Even mainframes, whose sales slipped 8 percent, are holding up well for a business that some industry experts gave up as a lost cause years ago. “It’s declining, but I.B.M. is milking that cash cow successfully,” said Bob Djurdjevic, president of Annex Research, an advisory firm.
By contrast, I.B.M.’s personal computer business ó though not the problem it has been in the past ó continues to struggle. It lost $20 million on sales of $2.7 billion.

My spin: So the PC business is losing money…if IBM were a small company (like Gateway…?) then the results would not be so rosy. However, IBM has several revenue streams, including its successful Global Services division, of which Price Waterhouse recently joined. Services is what will set companies free – and I guess very efficient business processes like Dell has.
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