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IBM profits up, 'confident' for year

NEW YORK (AFP) — US computer giant IBM onThursdayreportedthird-quarter earnings slightly better thananalysts'expectationsand said it was confident for the remainder ofthe yeardespite theslowing economy.

Net profits rose 19.6 percent in the third-quarter,comparedwiththe same period last year, to 2.8 billion dollarswhilerevenue rosefive percent to 25.3 billion dollars, IBM said inastatement.

IBM said diluted earnings per share were 2.05 dollars,higherthanthe forecast 2.03 dollars, and up 22 percent from the1.68dollarsper share in the third quarter of 2007.

The results were in line with preliminary figuresIBMreleasedlast week.

"We remain confident in our full-year 2008 outlook,"IBMchairmanSamuel Palmisano said.

"Our results demonstrate that the combination of a steadybaseofrecurring revenue and profits, a range of products andservicesthatdeliver value to clients worldwide, and a strongandflexiblefinancial foundation give IBM a competitive edge ingoodtimes andtough times," he said.

"These strengths along with our strategy tomanageforproductivity in major markets and to invest for growthinemergingcountries have enabled IBM to thrive despiteaneconomicenvironment that no one could have predicted."

By region, IBM said revenue in the Americas was upthreepercentto 10.5 billion dollars and six percent in Asia-Pacificto5.2billion dollars.

Revenue rose by 10 percent in Europe, the Middle EastandAfricato 8.9 billion dollars. Revenue from other marketstotaled673million dollars, down 24 percent compared with thethird-quarterof2007.

IBM said revenue from global technology services wasupeightpercent to 9.9 billion dollars while globalbusinessservicesrevenue rose seven percent to 4.9 billion dollars.

Software revenues were up 12 percent to 5.2 billiondollarswhileIBM said it signed services contracts totalling12.7billiondollars, a decrease of four percent.

IBM's share price rose 0.31 percent in after-hours tradinginNewYork to 91.80 dollars following the release of the results.

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