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IBM sees earnings and revenues shrink in fourth quarter

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International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) suffered a bleak fourth quarter as its earnings and revenues continued to decline.

In its results for the final three months of 2020, the computing giant reported a net income of US$1.51 per share, down from US$4.11 last year, while sales dropped to US$20.4bn from US$21.8bn, both of which were lower than analysts had forecast.

READ: IBM agrees to pay US$24mln to settle FCC probes

For the year as a whole, IBM reported that earnings had fallen to US$8.67 per share from US$12.81 in 2019, while revenues sank to US$73.6bn from US$77.2bn. It is the seventh year in a row that the company has suffered a decline in earnings, while sales have shrunk in eight of the last nine years.

The full-year earnings were also below the US$13.30 per share earnings and sales of US$79.4bn that analyst had predicted at the start of 2020.

Despite the bleak performance across 2020, IBM chairman and chief executive Arvind Krishna said the company is confident it can “achieve revenue growth in 2021”, adding that the company had made progress in 2020 with growing its hybrid cloud platform while “dealing with the broader uncertainty of the macro environment”.

“With solid cash generation, steadily expanding gross profit margins, disciplined financial management and ample liquidity, we are well positioned for success as the leading hybrid cloud platform company”, added IBM’s senior vice president and chief financial officer James Kavanaugh.

The company’s shares slumped 7.3% to US$122 in after-hours trading in New York on Thursday.

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