IBM and Intel exceed Wall St expectations but Microsoft and Google disappoint

By Sooraj Shah
20 Jan 2012 View Comments
A money graph

Intel and IBM have released Q4 results that have exceeded financial analysts' expectations, while Microsoft and Google haven't done so well.

IBM reported a net profit of $5.5bn (£3.5bn) for the quarter, and a revenue increase of two per cent to $29.5 bn, while chip maker Intel had a net income of $3.4bn (£2.1 bn) and posted revenue of $13.9 bn, a 21 per cent increase.

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Meanwhile, Microsoft made a net profit for its second financial quarter of $6.62bn (£4.27bn), down from $6.634bn for the same period last year, while its revenue for the period was up just five per cent to $20.89bn, which was lower than analysts expected.

Ovum analyst Tim Jennings argued that despite Microsoft's disappointing results, it and IBM were both benefiting from a focus on enterprise IT.

"Microsoft and IBM have focused on key enterprise IT requirements. For example, IBM has focused on business analytics and the cloud, which are key things that enterprises are looking for. These companies have executed their enterprise offerings seamlessly and are reaping the benefits," he said.

"At some point, regardless of the economic situation, demand will pick up. Businesses need to keep running and to do that they need the technologies that these companies offer," he added.

Jennings argued that Intel was reaping the rewards of its strategy to target emerging markets such as India and China. The chip maker has had tough year in which it has had to cope with a lack of computer hard drive supplies due to the floods in Thailand.

Google's revenues were worse than Wall Street expected despite reporting an increase. The search giant reported revenues of $10.58 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, an increase of 25 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.

"The difference in what was expected and what the revenue was is surprising. However, it is difficult for Google to focus on specific markets [like IBM and Microsoft] so it is reliant on all the markets that it is a part of," said Jennings.

He added that the weakness in the European market must have contributed to the miss.

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