Strong software and business-services sales—including outsourcing services, a cash cow in the current economy—pushed IBM’s profits up 12% in the fourth quarter and prompted a recession-busting forecast of continued growth for 2009, reports the Wall Street Journal. Although Big Blue's revenue fell in the quarter, its margins continued to grow.
"We are ahead of pace on our roadmap" to boosting EPS over $10 in 2010, CEO Samuel Palmisano said. IBM’s results—net income was $4.42 billion, compared to $3.95 billion a year ago—were a welcome relief from the bad news out of the tech sector lately, including Intel’s 90% net profit decline. IBM shares were up 4% overnight.