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IBM shares gain after strong fourth-quarter results

IBM has reported impressive fourth-quarter results that beat analyst expectations, leading the Armonk, New York-based company to present a solid 2013 outlook.

The company, which is the world’s largest technology services entity, reported a 10 per cent increase in quarterly net income to $6.1 billion (£3.85 billion). While revenues dipped one per cent to $29.3 billion (£18.5 billion), IBM still managed to exceed analyst expectations of $29.05 billion (£18.3 billion).

"IBM is better positioned in a tough environment than most tech companies are," Cindy Shaw, managing director at Discern, told Reuters, pointing to IBM’s strategic decisions within a healthier tech spending environment as one of the driving factors behind its successful quarter.

IBM’s decision to abandon the PC market in favour of the more lucrative software and enterprise solutions market, with growth in such areas as cloud computing and data analytics, also gave the company an advantage over other technology firms. The company grew its business in the emerging markets of Brazil, India, Russia and China by 11 per cent while also boosting its software revenue by three per cent.

IBM is also a leader in investing in so-called 'smarter planet' solutions, which include initiatives that demonstrate forward-thinking approaches to such areas as business, government and infrastructure. The 'smarter' approach aims to improve the likes of energy, public transportation, construction and water management in order to make them sustainable, progressive and more efficient through the application of emerging technologies.

Following the announcement of the earnings results, IBM’s stock rose four per cent to $204.50 (£129) a share.

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