IBM fourth quarter earnings, revenue beat Street

Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:52pm EST

A worker is pictured behind a logo at the IBM stand on the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover February 26, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

A worker is pictured behind a logo at the IBM stand on the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover February 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

(Reuters) - IBM, the world's largest technology services company, reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat estimates on the back of growth in emerging markets.

International Business Machines Corp said on Tuesday its quarterly net income rose 10 percent to $6.1 billion, or $5.39 a share from $4.71 a year earlier. Revenue dropped 1 percent to $29.3 billion.

Analysts had expected the Armonk, New York-based company to report net income of $5.95 billion, or $5.25 a share, on revenue of $29.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue in Brazil, India, Russia and China increased by 7 percent in 2012, or 12 percent adjusted for currency fluctuations.

IBM estimated earnings of at least $16.70 a share for the full year, above analysts' consensus forecast of $16.57.

Some analysts said IBM's results were a sign that the tech spending environment was improving.

"It is better than what people had feared," said Brian Marshall, an analyst at ISI Group.

"Virtually every segment did a little bit better than people expected. It supports the fact that things are getting better out there at least from a tech industry standpoint."

(The story corrects period of growth for BRIC countries to "2012" from "the quarter")

(Reporting by Nicola Leske; Editing by Richard Chang)

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