IBM raises outlook, reports higher profit

IBM (NYSE: IBM) on Thursday raised its full-year outlook and reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit as its growing focus on higher-margin software and services businesses helped it cope with weak technology spending.

International Business Machines Corp said it expects full-year earnings of at least $9.85 per share, up from its previous outlook of at least $9.70 a share.

IBM reported its third-quarter net profit rose to $3.2 billion, or $2.40 a share, from $2.8 billion, or $2.04 a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected a profit of $2.38 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.