Good results in hardware and services aided third-quarter profits at IBM, beating analysts' forecasts for the technology bellwether. In the three months...

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Good results in hardware and services aided third-quarter profits at IBM, beating analysts’ forecasts for the technology bellwether.


In the three months ending Sept. 30, IBM earned $1.52 billion, or 94 cents per share, on revenue of $21.5 billion. In the same period last year, profit was $1.55 billion, 92 cents per share, on revenue of $23.3 billion.


But comparisons are complicated because last year’s figures included IBM’s personal-computer division, which since has been sold to China’s Lenovo Group. The year-ago quarter also included a one-time charge of $320 million from the settlement of a pension-related lawsuit.


Without that charge and the PC operations, the continuing operations last year earned $1.03 a share.


This year’s third quarter included a $525 million tax payment that IBM had to make as it repatriated $9 billion in profits earned overseas. Without that charge, IBM’s continuing operations showed income of $1.26 per share.


That easily surpassed the $1.13 per share that analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting. IBM fell short of the revenue forecast of $21.7 billion. Sales rose just 4 percent over last year’s non-PC operations.


Shares of IBM, a Dow component, gained 24 cents yesterday to close at $82.59 before the report was released.

Citigroup

Continuing income remains about flat


Citigroup, the nation’s biggest financial-services company, is earning more money these days on Wall Street, even though it’s not doing quite as well as it would like on Main Street, the firm reported yesterday.


Citi reported that total third-quarter profit rose 35 percent to $7.14 billion, or $1.38 per share, compared with $5.3 billion, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier. Excluding special items, however, the company’s so-called continuing income, a better gauge of its long-term financial prospects, was $4.99 billion, 97 cents a share, about flat with third-quarter earnings of $5 billion, 96 cents, in 2004.


The Prudential Equity Group estimated the bank’s operating earnings at $1 to $1.02, “a touch above consensus of 99 cents” from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.


Citigroup shares fell 23 cents yesterday to close at $44.81.


Compiled from The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service