IBM has once again bucked the trends, turning in a record fourth quarter to end 2008 with revenues 5% up on 2007.

The company's fourth-quarter 2008 diluted earnings of $3.28 per share from continuing operations compared with diluted earnings of $2.80 per share in the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of 17% as reported.
Fourth- quarter income from continuing operations was $4,4-billion compared with $4-billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, an increase of 12%. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008 of $27-billion decreased 6% (1%, adjusting for currency) from the fourth quarter of 2007.
"A strong fourth quarter capped an outstanding year. In 2008 IBM performed well in an extremely difficult economic environment. Clearly our strategic transformation – migrating to the more profitable segments of the industry, investing in growth regions of the world, and driving productivity through global integration — is continuing to pay dividends," says Samuel Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and CEO.
"With our strong financial position, solid recurring revenue and profit streams and global reach, we are confident about 2009 and, based on our 2008 performance, we are ahead of pace on our roadmap for $10 to $11 per share."
IBM says that it expects full-year 2009 earnings of at least $9.20 per share.
The company's total gross profit margin was 47,9% in the 2008 fourth quarter compared with 44,9% in the 2007 period, led by strong performance in both services segments.
For the full year, IBM reported total revenues of $103,6-billion, up 5%.