Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), the No. 2 computer company, fell as much as 6 percent Wednesday despite reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
By Wednesday afternoon, IBM shares were at $198.68, down $12.32, after the Armonk, N.Y., company said net income was $3.8 billion, or $3.33 a share, flat with a year ago as revenue dipped 5 percent to $24.7 billion.
IBM's operating earnings of $3.62 a share were a penny above estimates.
Although analysts remained largely bullish on IBM, some were concerned CFO Mark Loughridge didn’t increase earnings projections for the fourth quarter and full year. The company maintained its earlier estimate of full-year earnings of “at least $15.10 a share,” compared with $13.06 for 2011.
Joseph Forese, of Janney Montgomery Scott, downgraded his rating on IBM to “neutral” from “buy” because of “headwinds in the short term.” IBM “has had a nice run,” he said, but will have to “improve execution” going ahead.
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