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IBM Reports 2004 Third-Quarter Results


ARMONK, N.Y. - 18 Oct 2004: IBM today announced third-quarter 2004 diluted earnings per common share of $1.06 from continuing operations as reported, compared with diluted earnings of $1.02 per share in the same period of 2003, an increase of 4 percent. In September, the company agreed to a one-time, pre-tax charge of $320 million (or 11 cents per diluted share) for the partial settlement of legal claims against IBM's pension plan. Without the one-time charge, IBM's earnings per diluted common share would have been $1.17, an increase of 15 percent.

Third-quarter income from continuing operations was $1.80 billion, an increase of 1 percent compared with $1.79 billion a year ago. Without the one-time charge, IBM's third-quarter income from continuing operations would have been $2.00 billion, an increase of 12 percent. Revenues from continuing operations for the third quarter were $23.4 billion, up 9 percent compared with the third quarter of 2003 revenues of $21.5 billion (and up 1 percent sequentially from $23.2 billion in the second quarter of this year).

Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman and chief executive officer, said: "In what is normally a challenging quarter for the technology industry, IBM delivered one of our strongest third quarters in revenue and earnings growth in recent years. IBM has been gaining momentum throughout the year, and the strength of our integrated business model gives us confidence as we look toward 2005.

"We continue to see robust growth in key initiatives. Business Performance Transformation Services revenue grew more than 45 percent year-to-date. We saw more than 30 percent combined growth in the emerging markets of Brazil, China, India and Russia. And we're seeing more and more clients move toward becoming on demand businesses, which is driving demand across our portfolio."

Third-quarter revenue growth of 9 percent (5 percent, adjusting for currency) was driven by growth across all geographies, as reported. In the Americas, third-quarter revenues from continuing operations were $10.1 billion, up 8 percent (7 percent, adjusting for currency) from the 2003 period. Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa were $7.3 billion, an increase of 8 percent (essentially flat, adjusting for currency). Asia-Pacific revenues grew 11 percent (6 percent, adjusting for currency) to $5.3 billion. OEM revenues increased 13 percent to $726 million compared with the third quarter of 2003.

Revenues grew at a solid pace in all of IBM's five industry sectors in the third quarter with particularly strong growth from the Communications sector and Public sector, as well as good growth in sales to Small and Medium Businesses.

Revenues from Global Services, including maintenance, increased 10 percent (5 percent, adjusting for currency) to $11.4 billion in the third quarter. Global Services revenues, excluding maintenance, increased 11 percent (6 percent, adjusting for currency). IBM signed services contracts totaling nearly $10 billion and ended the quarter with an estimated services backlog, including Strategic Outsourcing, Business Consulting Services, Integrated Technology Services and Maintenance, of $110 billion.

Hardware revenues from continuing operations increased 12 percent (9 percent, adjusting for currency) to $7.5 billion in the third quarter versus the third-quarter 2003. In the current quarter, revenues from the Systems and Technology Group totaled $4.1 billion, up 9 percent due to eServer revenue increases for xSeries Intel-based servers, which had particularly strong results, and zSeries servers. The total delivery of zSeries computing power as measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second) increased 17 percent in the quarter compared with the third quarter of 2003. Revenues for the eServer pSeries UNIX servers increased as well, while revenues for the iSeries midrange servers decreased significantly, in part, due to transition to new POWER5 architecture. Storage Systems revenues increased due to good demand for external midrange disk and tape products, and revenues from OEM Technology increased. Personal Systems Group revenues increased 17 percent to $3.3 billion, led by strong growth in mobile personal computers.

Revenues from Software were $3.6 billion, an increase of 5 percent (1 percent, adjusting for currency) compared with the third quarter of 2003. Revenues from IBM's middleware brands, which include WebSphere, DB2, Rational, Tivoli and Lotus products, were $2.9 billion, up 6 percent versus the third quarter of 2003. Operating systems revenues decreased 2 percent to $600 million compared with the third quarter of 2003.

Revenues for WebSphere software, which facilitates customers' ability to manage a wide variety of business processes using open standards to interconnect applications, data and operating systems, increased 14 percent. Revenues for Data Management increased 11 percent including revenues for DB2 database software, which increased 15 percent. Revenues from Tivoli software (infrastructure software that enables customers to centrally manage networks and storage) increased 19 percent, and revenues for Lotus software, which enables customers to communicate, collaborate and learn effectively, decreased 6 percent. Revenues from Rational (comprehensive software development tools) increased 6 percent compared with the third quarter of 2003.

Global Financing revenues declined 11 percent (14 percent, adjusting for currency) in the third quarter to $638 million. Revenues from the Enterprise Investments/Other area, which includes industry-specific IT solutions such as product life-cycle management software, increased 4 percent (2 percent, adjusting for currency) to $277 million compared with the third quarter of 2003.

The company's total gross profit margin from continuing operations was 36.9 percent in the 2004 third quarter, compared with 36.3 percent in the third quarter of 2003.

In the third quarter of 2004, total expense and other income from continuing operations of $6.1 billion, including the one-time $320 million charge to settle certain pension claims, increased 16 percent over the year-earlier period, of which 6 points is associated with the charge. The company's selling, general and administrative expense including the charge increased 16 percent to $5.0 billion. Research, development and engineering expense increased 9 percent to $1.4 billion. Intellectual property and custom development income declined to $259 million compared with $406 million a year ago. Other (income) and expense was $55 million of net income in the third quarter of 2004 versus $26 million of net expense in the same period last year.

IBM's effective tax rate from continuing operations in the third- quarter 2004, including the effect of the one-time charge relating to pension claims, was 28.9 percent. Before the charge, the rate would have been 30.0 percent, the same as the third quarter of 2003.

IBM ended the quarter with $9.7 billion of cash on hand and low debt levels for the non-financing business. The balance sheet remains strong, and the company is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities.

Share repurchases totaled approximately $1.3 billion in the third quarter. The weighted-average number of diluted common shares outstanding in the quarter was 1.70 billion compared with 1.76 billion shares in the same period of 2003. As of September 30, 2004, there were 1.66 billion basic shares outstanding.

Debt, including Global Financing, totaled $22.0 billion, compared with $23.6 billion at year-end 2003. From a management segment view, the non-global financing debt-to-capitalization ratio was 1.0 percent as of September 30, 2004, and Global Financing debt declined $1.6 billion from year-end 2003 to a total of $21.7 billion, resulting in a debt-to- equity ratio of 6.8 to 1.

Year-To-Date 2004 Results
Income from continuing operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2004, including the one-time $320 million pre-tax charge to settle certain pension claims, was $5.4 billion compared with $4.9 billion for the same period of 2003, an increase of 10 percent. Diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations was $3.14 compared with $2.78 per diluted share for the 2003 period, an increase of 13 percent. Revenues from continuing operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2004, totaled $68.8 billion, up 9 percent (4 percent, adjusting for currency) compared with $63.2 billion for the nine months of 2003.

For total operations, net income for the nine months of 2004, including a loss from discontinued operations of $3 million, was $5.4 billion, or $3.14 per diluted common share, compared with the nine months of 2003 net income of $4.9 billion, or $2.77 per diluted share, which included a loss from discontinued operations of $23 million.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute forward- looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, as discussed in the company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Presentation of Information in this Press Release
In an effort to provide investors with additional information regarding the company's results as determined by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the company has also disclosed in this press release the following non-GAAP information which management believes provides useful information to investors:

The rationale for management's use of non-GAAP measures is included as part of the supplementary materials presented within the third-quarter earnings materials. These materials are available on the IBM investor relations Web site at www.ibm.com/investor and will be included in a subsequent filing of a Form 8-K with the SEC.

Conference Call and Webcast
IBM's regular quarterly earnings conference call is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. EDT, today. Investors may participate by viewing the Webcast at www.ibm.com/investor/3q04.

Financial Results Attached

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Contact(s) information

Edward Barbini
IBM Media Relations
(914) 499-6565
barbini@us.ibm.com

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