IBM's cloud computing business boosts earnings, Dow Jones index

Big data survey names IBM one of top four vendors

Gains in its cloud computing business helped IBM (NYSE: IBM) beat Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter earnings released late Tuesday, according to a report by the AP.

IBM posted a net income of $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 6 percent from the $5.5 billion recorded in the same quarter in 2011. For the full year 2012, Big Blue posted a net income of $16.6 billion, a 5 percent year-over-year increase.

At the same time, IBM's revenues declined slightly for the 2012 fourth quarter and full year. However, revenue in its cloud computing business jumped 80 percent year-over-year.

The strong earnings results sent IBM's stock up from $196 per share at close of the market on Tuesday to $205 per share at market close on Wednesday. IBM's stock rise pushed the Dow Jones Industrial average to a five-year high on Wednesday, according to the AP.

Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the firm would continue to invest in big data, mobile technology, social business and security in the coming year.

On the big data front, IBM received some good news this week. According to data gathered by DataSift and analyzed by Ovum, IBM was among the top big data vendors based on Twitter mentions and sentiment of vendors.

Other top big data vendors included The Apache Foundation, developer of Hadoop, 10gen, developer of MongoDB, Teradata and Splunk.

"While Twitter streams are not a scientific focus group for detecting brand awareness, they provide a valuable window on market thinking. The data showed that while some players, such as IBM and Teradata, successfully scored high recognition in Twitter mentions, other enterprise players need to better focus their message to get Big Data recognition," observed Tony Baer, principal analyst for Ovum.

IBM's strong showing in both the cloud computing and big data markets have boosted its sagging reputation in the enterprise IT space, a space it dominated for decades.

For more:
- see IBM's fourth quarter earnings
- read the AP report
- check out Ovum's analysis

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