IBM Is Bullish on IT

by: Judy Weil

Excerpts from IBM’s Q408 conference call on the prospects for the IT market:

Integrated Technology Services revenue was flat as reported and up 6% at constant currency. Although signings were down this quarter, we continue to see good results in our key infrastructure plays.

Investing in IT:

We’re opening a new Technology Services Delivery Center in Dubuque, Iowa. This center will primarily support IBM’s U.S. strategic outsourcing clients.

We recently announced the creation of a Delivery Center for Application Services located at Michigan State University... [to] provide innovative application development and support services to modernize older and less efficient IT systems for state and local government agencies and universities, certainly a timely investment.

Profits up, corporations focused on cost-cutting:

Global Business Services delivered a record level of profit again this quarter. Pre-tax profit was up 26% and margin expanded 3.6 points to 14.9%, the best ever... 2008 represents the third straight year of profit growth greater than 20%.

Worldwide Financial Services declined 1% at constant currency... These clients remain focused on cost reduction, risk management, and integration services.

In this tough macro-environment, customers are focused on reducing the cost of running their IT infrastructure.

Poised for stimulus:

We see a real opportunity in smart infrastructure as governments around the world launch massive stimulus programs focused on things like next generation smart grids, healthcare IT and broadband.


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