"These results will substantially outperform the industry, gaining share in Systems & Technology, in servers, and in storage," he said. "We now expect the Systems & Technology Group to deliver double-digit profit growth in the fourth quarter."

The finance chief also took a swipe at IBM's software rivals, explaining that the company is gaining share against Microsoft and Oracle ( ORCL). Loughridge's comments came just a few days after Oracle chief Larry Ellison vowed to challenge IBM through his firm's Sun ( JAVA) acquisition. The two companies are clearly suiting up for battle.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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