IBM (IBM - Get Report) topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings estimates, boosted by strength in its software business. The tech giant reported revenue Tuesday of $29.3 billion, down from $29.5 billion in the same period last year, but above analysts' estimates of $29.09 billion. Excluding items, IBM earned $5.39 a share, up from $4.71 a share a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of $5.25 a share. Software revenue in the quarter rose 3% (or 4% adjusted for currency) to $7.9 billion. For fiscal 2013, IBM expects earnings, excluding items, of $16.70 a share. Analysts forecast earnings of $16.63 a share. IBM Beats, Boosted By Software
Apple (AAPL - Get Report), the iPod, iPhone and iPad maker, is expected by analysts Wednesday to post quarterly earnings of $13.43 a share on revenue of close to $55 billion. Shares of the tech giant have fallen more than 20% over the past three months, which has prompted research firms to posit that there may be waning interest in Apple's products. Kantar Worldpanel issued a note that showed while Apple has more than 50% market share in the United States, with 51.2% as of Dec. 23, that's down from 53.3% as of Nov. 25, leading to perhaps a growing concern that Apple products are growing stale. Apple reports after Wednesday's close of trading. TheStreet will be live-blogging the earnings reports beginning at 3:45 p.m. EST Is Apple Losing Its Luster? Not by a Long Shot
McDonald's (MCD - Get Report), the world's biggest fast-food chain, is expected by analysts Wednesday to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.33 a share on revenue of $6.89 billion.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Get Report) is expected by analysts Wednesday to report fourth-quarter profit of $1.50 a share on revenue of $10.58 billion.
Health insurer WellPoint (WLP) is expected by Wall Street to post quarterly earnings Wednesday of 96 cents a share on revenue of $15.32 billion.
Shares of Dell (DELL) jumped 2.2% Tuesday following reports that Microsoft (MSFT) could invest as $3 billion in an eventual takeover of the struggling PC maker. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the deliberations, reported Wednesday that Microsoft entered talks in recent days with private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners and Dell founder Michael Dell to buy the computer maker from public stockholders. Dell Pops on Microsoft Rumors: Winners & Losers
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.