Updated from 9:42 a.m. ESTShares of IBM ( IBM) dropped modestly Wednesday as some analysts honed in on the currency benefit that helped the technology bellwether beat analysts' fourth-quarter earnings estimates by a nickel a day earlier. Shares of IBM recently fell 65 cents, or 0.7%, to $94.25. Although some analysts characterized Big Blue's quarter as strong, solid and stellar, others were far less bullish. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi Jr. noted that the company enjoyed a nearly $1 billion benefit from currency vs. a year ago in the fourth quarter, which he believes was not fully factored into consensus estimates. "In many ways, it was a typical IBM quarter, as the company has met or exceeded EPS in 20 out of the 21 previous quarters, but failed to meet revenue expectations in 11 of those same 21 quarters," wrote Sacconaghi, who has a market perform rating on IBM. "In the absence of improved revenue growth going forward, we do think it will be difficult for IBM to materially migrate away from a market multiple." (Bernstein doesn't do investment banking.) But on the more bullish side, Prudential analyst Steve Fortuna said IBM shares look attractive at the current multiple of only 17 times 2005 earnings. "We think they represent a compelling investment, considering the long track record of consistent execution, the strength of the product portfolio and the potential for services margin expansion," wrote Fortuna, who maintained his overweight rating on the stock. "We continue to look for a meaningful improvement in large enterprise spending in the middle part of 2005, which should benefit IBM given its focus on large customers," Fortuna added. (His firm doesn't do investment banking.) Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM posted profit from continuing operations of $3.1 billion, or $1.81 a share, compared with last year's $2.7 billion, or $1.56 a share. It marked the first time Big Blue's earnings exceeded $3 billion in the fourth quarter and beat the consensus estimate of $1.76 a share gathered by Thomson First Call.