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IBM’s revenues slipped another 3 per cent in the latest quarter, falling short of Wall Street’s expectations as the decline in the US technology group’s core business continued to outweigh the newer markets on which it has pinned its future.
News of the first-quarter earnings brought a near-4 per cent fall in the company’s shares in after-market trading on Tuesday, despite pro-forma profits that were stronger than analysts had projected.
IBM has told investors that it expects to return to sustainable single-digit revenue growth once its so-called “strategic imperatives” — cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security — tip the balance after a period of retrenchment. It has not, however, predicted when that moment will come, and the continued slide in overall revenues has weighed on Wall Street confidence in the turnaround being engineered by chief executive officer Ginni Rometty.
For the latest period, Big Blue reported revenues of $18.2bn, below the $18.4bn analysts had been expecting. Its pro-forma earnings per share — the measure on which investors judge the company — came in at $2.38, ahead of the forecast $2.35.
Growth in IBM’s “strategic imperatives” in the quarter reached 12 per cent, and at $7.8bn these businesses now account for 43 per cent of overall revenue. The company’s core business saw a continued erosion, however,with revenue from these operations falling around 12 per cent.