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IBM's first-quarter earnings beat estimates

The IBM booth at a trade fair in Hanover, Germany

JOERG SARBACH/JOERG SARBACH/AP

IBM raised its full-year outlook after it posted a 15 per cent rise in first-quarter earnings on strong demand for its software services and growth in emerging markets.



The company said on Tuesday that revenue was flat at $24.7-billion (U.S.) compared with the previous year and net earnings were up 7 per cent at $3.1-billion in the first three months of the year.



International Business Machines, which has been shifting its focus from hardware to higher-margin services and software over the past decade, said that earnings per share, excluding items, was $2.78 – beating average analysts' earnings per share estimates of $2.65 and in line with revenue expectations of $24.78-billion.

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IBM raised its full year target to at least $15 adjusted earnings per shape from previously at least $14.85.



Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu wrote in a recent note that there was a "fair likelihood" IBM would "modestly raise" its outlook.



IBM competes with business software makers Oracle Corp and SAP AG as well as outsourcing company Accenture and computing giant Hewlett Packard.

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