Profits rise at IBM

The computer giant IBM has posted an increase in its first quarter profits, helped by revenue growth at its consulting business.

IBM said earnings at its continuing operations - which excludes a hard disk drive business it sold last year - came in at 79 cents a share for the January to March quarter, up from 73 cents a year ago.

Revenues rose from $18bn last year to $20.1bn (£12.8bn) with a big increase at its Global Services division following last year's purchase of PwC Consulting.

The earnings per share figure was slightly lower than analysts' expectations, but IBM's shares still managed to rise in after-hours trading.

The firm said it expected to meet Wall Street forecasts for 2003, which currently stand at revenues of $88.04bn and earnings of $4.32 per share.

News source: BBC News

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