IBM Reveals Mixed 4Q Results as Sales Slump

IBM Corp. Exteriors Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Matt Egan

IBM (IBM) reported a stronger-than-expected 6 percent increase in fourth-quarter profits on Tuesday even as the tech giant's revenue fell for the seventh consecutive quarter amid weak hardware demand.

Shares of Big Blue lost ground in after-hours trading following the mixed results.

IBM said it earned $6.19 billion, or $5.73 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $5.83 billion, or $5.13 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company grew profits 14 percent to $6.13 a share. That exceeded calls from analysts for $5.99.

Revenue fell 5.5 percent to $27.7 billion, missing the Street's view of $28.25 billion. Gross profits ticked down to 51.7 percent from 51.8 percent. Non-GAAP margins expanded to 52.6 percent from 52.3 percent.

"We continued to drive strong results across much of our portfolio and again grew earnings per share in 2013," IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said in a statement.

IBM said software sales increased 3 percent last quarter to $8.1 billion, %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%helping to offset a 4 percent drop in global technology services revenue to $9.9 billion.

However, the company continues to struggle on the hardware front as sales tumbled 26 percent to $4.3 billion in the fourth quarter. Pre-tax income shrank to just $200 million from $968 million the year before.

Rometty said due to the company's disappointing full-year results, the management team recommended it forgo personal annual incentive payments for 2013.

Looking ahead, IBM said it remains "on track" toward meeting its 2015 road map for operating EPS of at least $20.

8 Foolproof Ways to Grow Your Savings
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IBM Reveals Mixed 4Q Results as Sales Slump

This is my personal favorite! Think of yourself as a regular monthly bill you have to pay. All you have to do is arrange to have a set amount of money directly deposited from your paycheck into a savings account each month.

I recommend using a separate savings account because if you have access to your funds in your checking account, you're more likely to spend them. Again, it might hurt a bit at first to take home a little less every month, but trust me, after a while you won't even notice it's gone. Here's a moment when the "set it and forget it" strategy works wonders.

It feels great to be rewarded for your hard work. And it feels even better to spend that hard-earned bonus on something you’ll enjoy, like a trip to France or an iPad. At the same time, the pleasure of a vacation or new gadget is short-lived compared to financial security.

So make a pact with yourself to put every bonus you get from here on out to good use. If you direct 90 percent of your bonuses straight into your savings account as a rule, you’ll still have 10 percent to treat yourself with (plus the comfort of knowing that you're building a well-earned safety net). I live by this rule.

OK, OK, this seems like an obvious one -- and easier said than done. Actually, most people spend money on more unnecessary items than they think. So take time to look at where your money is going in detail and begin to cut back. Saving $10 here and there could help you put a lot away in the long run.
Many banks offer seasonal accounts meant to save for holidays like Christmas. These accounts give you reduced access to your accounts, charging a hefty penalty each time you withdraw more than permitted. Since emergencies don't occur often, a seasonal account could make sure you're touching it only when needed (just make sure you're not tempted to blow it all on Christmas gifts).
I love this one. Chalk it up to my massive craving for organization, but I'm all about getting rid of things I no longer use. Rather than throwing these unused goods away, start selling them, and put that money into your emergency fund. All you need to do is post them to a site like eBay or Craigslist or Amazon and you can get rid of items from the comfort of your home. You can also take your clothes to a consignment shop to have them sold for you.
Instead of saving your pennies, put aside any $5 bills that come your way. Never spend a $5 bill again, and you'll be surprised by how quickly this silly trick will help you come up with a few hundred dollars to add to an emergency fund.
You could pick up odd jobs via websites like,,, or
If you get a cash-back reward for any spending on your credit card, just make it a rule that those dollars will be dedicated to your freedom fund. It may only add up to $100 extra each year, depending on your spending, but every little bit counts.

Shares of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM fell 1.02 percent to $186.51 in extended trading on Tuesday. IBM was the only losing member of the Dow Industrials (^DJI) in 2013, falling 2.1 percent versus a 25 percent rally for the benchmark index.
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