IBM Beats Street, Raises Guidance

IBM continues the tech sector rebound, beating analysts' estimates and raising guidance.
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Story updated with share price and comments from IBM CEO and CFO.

ARMONK, N.Y. (

TheStreet

) -- The tech spending rebound is well under way, at least according to

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, which beat analysts' estimates in its

first-quarter results

and raised its full-year guidance.

The

tech bellwether

reported revenue of $22.9 billion and earnings of $1.97 a share, compared with $21.7 billion and $1.70 a share in the same period last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast revenue of $22.75 billion and earnings of $1.93 a share.

IBM also raised its full-year EPS guidance to at least $11.20, above its previous forecast of at least $11.

In a statement, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano said that the company had "significantly improved" its revenue growth across businesses and geographies. "Looking ahead, we are confident in our ability to grow revenue," he added.

Hot on the heels of

strong results

from

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

,

AMD

(AMD) - Get Report

and

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, IBM's results are further evidence of the

tech recovery

.

IBM is famed for its ability to

squeeze profit from high-margin areas such as software and services

. The company's software revenue grew 11%, or 5% at constant currency and services revenue was up 4%, down 2% accounting for currency.

"Our software performance was excellent," said IBM CFO Mark Loughridge, during a conference call after market close. The company's five main middleware brands all made share gains during the quarter, he added.

IBM grew its Americas revenue 2%, flat adjusted for currency, compared to the prior year's quarter. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were up 5%, down 2% adjusted for currency. The company's Asia-Pacific revenue grew 10%, or 1% accounting for currency.

During the conference call, Loughridge explained that IBM enjoyed strong double-digit growth in Brazil, India and Russia.

Investors, however, were underwhelmed by the company's first-quarter numbers. IBM shares fell $2.83, or 2.14%, to $129.40 in extended trading.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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