IBM reports solid quarter, raises full-year guidence

Hardware sales did particularly well, with a continued recovery in its mainframe and Unix businesses

IBM on Tuesday reported quarterly sales growth across all its major divisions and raised its earnings outlook for the full year, the latest sign that business spending in the IT sector continues to recover.

IBM's total revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $24.6 billion, up 8 percent from the same quarter last year, or up 5 percent on a constant currency basis. Net income after one-time charges climbed 10 percent to $2.9 billion, IBM said.

Revenue was up in all geographies, with sales growing 12 percent in the Asia Pacific and 9 percent in the Americas. The recovery in Europe continued to lag behind, with sales up 3 percent for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

"On the strength of this performance, we are raising our full-year 2011 operating earnings per share expectations to at least $13.15,” IBM Chairman, President and CEO Sam Palmisano said in a statement.

Revenue from IBM's global technology services increased 6 percent to $9.86 billion, with revenue from global business services up 7 percent to $4.7 billion.

Its hardware sales increased 19 percent to $4 billion. Within that division, IBM's mainframe business continued its recovery, with 41 percent sales growth from a year ago, and its Power systems also did well, with sales of those Unix products up 19 percent, IBM said.

Software revenue climbed 6 percent to $5.3 billion. Within that, sales of IBM's middleware, including its Websphere and Tivoli products, were up 16 percent to $3.3 billion. Revenue from Websphere alone jumped sharply at 51 percent, IBM said.

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