NEW YORK (AP) — IBM Corp. plans to report first-quarter earnings on Tuesday after the market closes, with investors hoping it will offer more signs of stabilization among its customers even as the global economy continues to face challenges.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Investors will look for new services contract signings as an indication of how the company will fare in coming months.
Global companies such as IBM have face dangers on multiple fronts amid the downturns in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. But IBM's results in the previous quarter handily beat Wall Street's expectations. That, combined with a better-than-expected outlook, was a welcome sign of stability amid global economic turmoil.
Jefferies analyst Jason Kupferberg said he'll be "particularly interested" in IBM's commentary regarding the health of the discretionary technology spending environment given a disappointing outlook from outsourcing company Infosys Technologies on Thursday.
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, expect earnings of $2.65 per share on revenue of $24.81 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: IBM reported net income of $2.86 billion, or $2.31 per share. Excluding mostly acquisition-related charges, earnings were $2.41 per share. Revenue rose 8 percent to $24.6 billion.