- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - IBM Corp.’s first-quarter results slipped as all its major business units suffered declines, but the company backed its bullish guidance for all of 2009, reflecting its belief that a broad mix of services and software will help it weather the recession.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s profit beat Wall Street’s forecast, but sales fell short. The stock fell 2.8 percent in after-hours trading Monday.

IBM reported after the market closed that that its profit was $2.3 billion, or $1.70 per share. That was higher than the $1.66 per share analysts were expecting.

In the same period last year, IBM earned $2.32 billion, or $1.64 per share.

Sales fell 11 percent to $21.7 billion, $800 million short of the $22.5 billion analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting. IBM said the revenue drop would have been only 4 percent were it not for the effects of a strengthening dollar.

The company reiterated its previous guidance for earnings of $9.20 per share in 2009.

The earnings report came on the same day that longtime rival Sun Microsystems Inc., which had recently been in talks to be bought by IBM, announced a $7.4 billion deal instead with Oracle Corp.

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