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IBM posts lower first-quarter earnings amid ongoing hardware business slump

NEW YORK--IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exacerbated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets. IBM Corp. said Wednesday that it earned US$2.38 billion, or US$2.29 per share, in the January-March period. That's down 21 percent from US$3.03 billion, or US$2.70 per share, a year earlier. Excluding an US$870 million charge for reorganizing its work force and other one-time items, IBM's earnings were US$2.54 per share in the latest quarter, matching analysts' expectations.

Revenue fell 4 percent to US$22.5 billion, below the US$22.9 billion that analysts polled by FactSet had expected. It's the eighth consecutive quarter of revenue decline. The biggest drop was in its systems and technology unit, or hardware, where revenue tumbled 23 percent to US$2.39 billion from US$3.11 billion.

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