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IBM Q4 results boosted by exchange rates

Big Blue reported strong Q4 earnings Monday, beating analysts' expectations

IBM on Monday said fourth-quarter revenue, aided by exchange rates and sales outside the U.S., stood at US$28.9 billion, an increase of 10 per cent over the same period in 2006.

The figure, which topped predictions of US$27.82 billion by analysts polled by Thomson First Call, was helped by the ongoing weakness in the dollar, IBM said.

Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement that the results were also helped by strong sales in Asia, Europe and emerging markets.

IBM said it earned US $2.80 per share in the quarter, handily beating the analysts’ forecast of US $2.60 per share. The results represent a 24 percent increase over the same period in 2006, when IBM earned US $2.26 per share.

Total revenue for 2007 was US $98.6 billion, an 8 per cent increase from 2006. Overall earnings for 2007 were US $7.18 per share, a rise of 18 per cent over 2006, according to IBM.

The company also said it had more than US$16 billion in cash on hand at the end of 2007.

IBM plans to provide a full earnings report during a webcast on Thursday.