US computer giant IBM reported a higher quarterly net profit on Thursday despite falling sales and delivered a more optimistic outlook for the full year.
IBM, which has weathered the global economic slowdown better than most major US corporations, said net profit rose 14 percent to US$13.2 billion, or US$2.40 per share, better than the US$2.38 predicted by analysts.
Revenue fell seven percent in the third quarter to US$23.6 billion compared with the corresponding period a year ago but was 1 percent higher than the previous quarter, IBM said in a statement.
The company raised its forecast for full-year earnings per share to “at least US$9.85 from at least US$9.70” on an improved outlook for both software and hardware.
“Our long-term strategic shift to higher-value businesses again enabled us to deliver outstanding margin, earnings and cash flow growth in the third quarter,” IBM chairman, president and chief executive Samuel Palmisano said.
“We also saw improved revenue trends in our business and share gains in software and hardware,” he said.
“We are optimistic about 2009 as we again raise our full-year expectations and we remain well ahead of pace for our 2010 roadmap of US$10 to US$11 per share,” Palmisano said.
The company said it signed service contracts worth US$11.8 billion in the quarter, including 13 deals greater than US$100 million, a decrease of 7 percent.
IBM said third-quarter revenue for the Americas fell 5 percent to US$9.9 billion, while revenue for Europe, the Middle East and Africa was down 12 percent to US$7.8 billion. Asia-Pacific revenue was flat at US$5.2 billion.
IBM said it ended the third quarter with US$11.5 billion of cash on hand. Shares of IBM fell 3.41 percent in after-hours electronic trading to US$123.61.