updated 10/18/2004 5:27:36 PM ET 2004-10-18T21:27:36

International Business Machines Corp. reported a small gain in third-quarter profits Monday, as increasing revenues in almost every area of the business, including emerging markets such as Russia and China, helped offset expenses from a pension lawsuit.

For the three months ending Sept. 30, IBM earned $1.80 billion, or $1.06 per share, compared to $1.79 billion, or $1.02 a share, at the same time a year ago.

Excluding a charge of $320 million related to a pension lawsuit filed by retirees, the company earned $2 billion, or $1.17 per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had predicted $1.14 per share.

Portions of that retiree lawsuit are still unresolved, and the company said in September, when it announced the $320 million charge, that it could face additional payments.

The results were announced after the markets closed. IBM shares had ended the regular trading session up $1.07, or 1.3 percent, at $85.92 on the New York Stock Exchange. In the extended session, the shares rose another $1.45.

Third-quarter revenues were $23.43 billion, compared to $21.52 billion for the same period last year.

The company said revenue from emerging markets, such as Brazil, China, India and Russia grew 30 percent. By contrast, revenues in the Americas were up 8 percent, while Europe/Middle East/Africa region was flat adjusting for currency.

Overall hardware revenues were up 12 percent, or 9 percent adjusting for currency, to $7.5 billion. Software revenues were up 5 percent, or 1 percent adjusting for currency, to $3.6 billion.

IBM's global financing revenues declined by 11 percent.

Year-to-date, IBM has earned $5.39 billion, or $3.14 per share, on revenues of $68.83 billion. A year ago, the company had earned $4.87 billion, or $2.77 per share, on revenues of $63.22 billion.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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