IBM beats quarterly revenue estimates

IBM beats quarterly revenue estimates

Warns of US$3.5 billion forex hit.

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IT hardware and services company IBM Corp beat quarterly revenue expectations on Monday but warned the hit from forex for the year could be about US$3.5 billion (S$4,8 billion) due to a strong US dollar.

A hawkish Federal Reserve and heightened geopolitical tensions have driven gains in the dollar against a basket of currencies over the last year, prompting companies with sizable international operations, including Microsoft and Salesforce, to temper expectations.

Shares of IBM pared losses and were down 1.3 percent in extended trading.

On the earnings call, Chief Financial Officer James Kavanaugh told analysts both currency headwinds and the impact of exiting Russia operations have put pressure on IBM's near-term results but reiterated the company's full-year forecast of hitting the upper end of mid-single-digit revenue growth at constant currency.

IBM expects a foreign exchange hit to revenue of about 6 percent this year, Kavanaugh said. It had previously forecast a 3-4 percent hit.

Second-quarter revenue was hurt by US$900 million due to a stronger US dollar, Kavanaugh said, adding the pace and magnitude at which the currency has strengthened was "unprecedented".

IBM posted an adjusted gross profit margin of 54.5 percent for the quarter ended June 30, while analysts on average expected 56.6 percent, according to Refinitiv data.

However, strong demand at its consulting and infrastructure businesses helped IBM post-second-quarter revenue of US$15.54 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of US$15.18 billion.

IBM sees revenue growth continuing, including in regions like Europe and the Asia Pacific, despite geopolitical turmoil and inflationary pressures, Kavanaugh said, echoing words of peer Accenture, which had last month said it does not foresee a pullback in client spending.

The 110-years-old company has placed its hopes on high-growth software and consulting businesses with a focus on the so-called "hybrid cloud". Cloud revenue rose 18 percent to US$5.9 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned US$2.31 per share, beating estimates of US$2.27.

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