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More on IBM: Gross margin hit 52.3% (+210bps Y/Y), contributed to EPS beat. Also helping is...

More on IBM: Gross margin hit 52.3% (+210bps Y/Y), contributed to EPS beat. Also helping is another $3B in buybacks. Services backlog was $140B, up $2B Q/Q and flat Y/Y. Services revenue -2% Y/Y (-6% in Q3), software +3% (-1% in Q3), hardware -1% (-13% in Q3). Free cash flow of $9.5B, above net income of $6.1B. Hardware boosted by 56% increase in system Z mainframe sales thanks to refresh, hurt by 19% drop in Power servers in spite of refresh. Middleware +4% with strength in WebSphere, Lotus, and Rational. IBM +2.8% AH. CC underway (webcast). (PR)
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