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IBM's 3Q earnings likely to extend growth streak

Associated Press Published: October 12, 2012

IBM also could be benefiting from the woes of Hewlett-Packard Co., which also sells business software and consulting services. HP's financial condition has been deteriorating, trigging an extensive reorganization in an attempt to turn things around. Those factors might cause some corporate customers to consider with a vendor such as IBM that is on more stable footing.

The biggest question about IBM's third-quarter performance center on its revenue for the period. Like other companies that have a lot of customers outside the U.S., IBM is being hurt by the weakening euro because sales made in that currency are converting into fewer dollars than last year.

WHY IT MATTERS: IBM is the world's largest technology-services company. Its results provide a gauge of businesses' appetite for technology spending.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts, on average, are expecting earnings of $3.61 per share on revenue of $25.4 billion, according to a poll by FactSet. The earnings estimate excludes the costs of past acquisitions and certain other items unrelated to IBM's ongoing business.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: IBM earned $3.28 per share, after subtracting certain items, on revenue of $26.2 billion.