IBM (IBM) reported a better-than-expected 24 percent rise in preliminary quarterly earnings on Monday on strong sales in overseas markets. In the third quarter, IBM posted higher earnings as continued strength in the consulting and services unit offset a slide in hardware sales.
The company has been increasing its investments in developing countries with high growth rates, like China, India, Russia and Brazil. IBM disclosed last month that its employee head count in those countries is nearly 100,000, up from 70,000 a year ago. The Indian market alone was expected to contribute nearly $1 billion in revenue to IBM in 2007, up from $700 million the prior year.
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The largest American corporations now get more than half of their revenues from overseas markets. That is true of large technology companies like Intel (INTC), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and others. Yet IBM is the leader in the current globalization trend to tap overseas market and talent. Today, two-thirds of IBM’s sales and its workers are outside the United States.
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The surprise report ahead of IBM’s scheduled earnings release Thursday eased some investor concerns over how much the slowing U.S. economy had hurt the technology giant. In September IBM sparked some concerns when the company said sales to its biggest customer segment, the financial industry, fell as banks were buffeted by subprime/mortgage credit problems.
The company said quarterly earnings from continuing operations were $2.80 a share, up 24% from the year earlier’s $2.26, while revenue rose 10% to $28.9 billion with the weaker dollar attributed to six percentage points of the increase.
“The broad scope of IBM’s global business — led by strong operational performance in Asia, Europe and emerging countries — drove these outstanding results,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Samuel J. Palmisano. “IBM is well-positioned as we begin 2008 as a result of our global business reach, solid recurring revenue stream and strong financial position.
For fiscal 2007, IBM reported earnings rose 18% to $7.18 a share, including a five-cent gain on the sale of its printing systems division in the second quarter, on sales of $98.8 billion, representing 8% growth year-over-year.
Covered Call Options:
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|HPQ||44.34 (-0.71)||HPQBV||08 FEB 42.5 (31)||2.8||6.3||2.3||2.3|
|HPQ||44.34 (-0.71)||HPQBI||08 FEB 45.0 (31)||1.35||3||3.1||4.7|
|IBM||101.63 (-0.20)||IBMBT||08 FEB 100.0 (31)||4.7||4.6||3.2||3.2|
|IBM||101.63 (-0.20)||IBMBA||08 FEB 105.0 (31)||2.35||2.3||2.4||5.8|
|INTC||19.88 (-2.81)||NQBD||08 FEB 20.0 (31)||0.83||4.2||4.4||5|
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