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IBM reports record 2008

Interesting story from The Register on why Big Blue is even smugger than usual right now

IBM logoThere’s a lot of bad economic news floating around, but there wasn’t much coming out of Armonk, New York, today as IBM reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008. Despite the Meltdown, IBM reached record revenue, pre-tax profit, cash flow, and earnings per share levels in 2008, thanks to a strong close in the final quarter of the year.

IBM does expect revenues to fall in the first half of 2009, and the company is evidently going ahead with rumored plans to lay off some of its workforce

Mark Loughridge, IBM’s chief financial officer, said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts that in 2009, IBM would do the normal “workload rebalancing.” That’s IBM’s euphemism for targeted layoffs that don’t trigger filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In other words, we won’t know how many people get the axe.

Some more specific figures with bearing on our business

Loughridge said further that Power Systems sales (which includes AIX, Linux, and i/OS machines except for a smidgen of Power5-based iSeries boxes that IBM still sells) grew by 8 per cent as reported and at 14 per cent in constant currency. … A 32 per cent decline in System x x64 server sales, which include blade servers as well as rack and tower form factors, was a bit of a surprise, as was a 20 per cent decline in storage sales. Loughridge said that disk array sales fell by 16 per cent in Q4 and tape product sales fell by 31 per cent. Even BladeCenter blade server sales fell, in this case by 27 per cent.

IBM’s own press release on its financial results is here.

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