IBM released strong fourth quarter earnings today, posting record revenue of $29 billion, up 7 percent from the fourth quarter in 2009, and surpassing analyst expectations. EPS were $4.18, up 16 percent; an increase of 16 percent from the same quarter in 2009.
Big Blue also posted record net income in the fourth quarter, $5.3 billion, compared with $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 9 percent. Net income for the year came in at $14.8 billion compared with $13.4 billion in 2009, an increase of 10 percent. Diluted earnings were $11.52 per share compared with $10.01 per diluted share in 2009, an increase of 15 percent. Revenues for 2010 totaled $99.9 billion, an increase of 4 percent (3 percent, adjusting for currency), compared with $95.8 billion in 2009.
IBM’s CEO Samuel J. Palmisano said in a statement: “We completed an outstanding year, with record profit and free cash flow, and exceeded the high end of our 2010 earnings per share roadmap objective…We also capped a decade in which our shift to high-value businesses, our global integration of IBM, our investment in research and development of almost $60 billion and our acquisition of 116 companies have helped us to nearly triple our EPS and return more than $100 billion to shareholders.”
Revenues from the Software segment were $7 billion, an increase of 7 percent (8 percent, adjusting for currency) and revenues from from the Hardware Systems and Technology segment totaled $6.3 billion for the quarter, up 21 percent (22 percent, adjusting for currency) from the fourth quarter of 2009.
IBM ended the fourth-quarter of 2010 with $11.7 billion of cash on hand, which is a little bit more than the $11.1 billion leftover in third -quarter earnings. IBM’s acquisition spree tapered off in the fourth quarter but Big Blue bought a number of companies earlier in the year, including Initiate Systems, Cast Iron Systems, Sterling Commerce, Coremetrics, BigFix, Datacap, Unica, OpenPages, Netezza and most recently, Blade Network Technology for $400 million. In 2010, IBM spent roughly $6 billion to acquire 17 companies.