IBM shares soared after the company released preliminary quarterly earnings today that beat Wall Street’s predictions by $1 billion, reports Bloomberg. Shares popped 8% in early trading after the company said “strong operational performance in Asia, Europe, and emerging countries” helped it to a 24% bump in earnings from continuing operations, to $2.80 per share. Analysts had predicted $2.60.
Sales for the fourth quarter gained 10% to $28.9 billion, exceeding the $27.7 billion analysts estimated. IBM’s 2007 per-share earnings are up 18% over a year ago to $7.18, the company said; full results will be available Thursday. The company has increased staff in countries whose economies are outperforming the US economy to about 100,000.