IBM ends its 22-quarter shrinking sales curse: Finally, a whole one per cent uptick

www.theregister.co.uk | 1/18/2018 | Staff
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For 22 quarters in a row, IBM's sales have been shrinking. But not any more. In the final three months of 2017, Big Blue's revenues grew 3.5 per cent compared to year-ago quarter.

It sure took its time. And the corporation still managed to make a loss, due to a ten-figure tax bill from bringing home profits held overseas, apparently. Today IBM published its financial figures for its fourth quarter of 2017, ended December 31. Here's a summary:

Revenues - Cent - Q4 - Analyst - Estimates

Revenues of $22.54bn were up 3.5 per cent from $21.77bn in Q4 2016, beating analyst estimates by $490m. If you adjust for currency rates, revenues were up one per cent, which, well, is still greater than zero.

Net income was actually a net loss of $1.05bn as IBM swallowed a one-time $5.5bn charge from basically doing an Apple and repatriating overseas profits back to America. That bill also included "the revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities," we're told. A year ago the corp banked a $4.5bn profit; if you put the tax charge aside, IBM would have banked $4.45bn, down one per cent.

Earnings - Share - GAAP - Tax - Hit

Earnings per share (GAAP) were -$1.14 due to the tax hit, but non-GAAP earnings were $5.18, just about topping analyst estimates of $5.17.

Strategic Imperatives (a handful of operations IBM sees as key to its business) revenue was $11.1bn, a 17 per cent year-on-year jump, or 14 per cent if you adjust for currency rates. Cloud revenues were $5.5bn, up 30 per cent year over year, or 27 per cent if you take currency effects into account.

Solutions - Revenue - Cent - Currencies - Quarter

Cognitive Solutions revenue was $5.4bn, up three per cent, or flat if you consider currencies, from the year-ago quarter. This segment includes things like the much-hyped IBM Watson suite of AI-ish software.

Systems revenue was $3.3bn, a 32 per cent increase driven by strong System Z and Power...
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