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On Tuesday, IBM released a mixed quarterly earnings report. Revenue declined, income remained steady, and earnings per share rose slightly.
Computerworld's Joab Jackson reported, "In the third quarter, IBM generated US$24.7 billion in revenue, down 5 percent from the third quarter of 2011. That fell short of analyst estimates for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast $25.36 billion in revenue. Net income was $3.8 billion, approximately the same as in the third quarter of 2011. Earnings rose to $3.33 per share, an increase of 4 percent from the third quarter of 2011."
According to The New York Times' Steve Lohr, "In a conference call with analysts, Mark Loughridge, I.B.M.'s chief financial officer, said the revenue shortfall came from a slowdown in business, especially in September, in certain markets including the United States, where revenue fell 5 percent."
In The Wall Street Journal, Drew Fitzgerald called the report "the latest indication that businesses could be cutting back on technology spending." He added, "The Armonk, N.Y., company was hurt by currency effects and saw particular weakness in North America, its largest market, especially in September."
Reuters noted, "IBM Corp's fifth consecutive quarterly revenue miss prompted at least two brokerages to cut their ratings on the company's stock. Shares of IBM, considered a bellwether for the global enterprise IT sector, were down 4 percent at $202.50 before the bell on Wednesday."