IBM almost ends loss streak with gains in cloud

Recent investments in cloud services has provided a boost in revenue

IBM has posted a higher than expected third-quarter revenue today, boosted by strong growth in cloud services and analytics.

Revenue in those areas rose overall by 16% to $8 billion, with revenue in cloud climbing 44% compared to 30% in the second quarter.

However, this boost was not enough to halt their 18th consecutive quarter of declining revenue, with shares falling a further 3.1% to $150.60.

Revenue for the third quarter ended at $19.23 billion, falling slightly from last year's $19.28 billion, although the company still outperformed analyst estimates, according to Reuters.

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The US IT firm has focused on more profitable ventures under chief executive Ginni Rometty and has invested over $5 billion in areas such as cloud services and security while reducing their commitment to hardware and services. The shift to these "strategic imperatives" has generated almost $32 billion over the last 12 months.

"IBM's third-quarter performance, led by continued double-digit growth in our strategic imperatives, is a testament to our leadership in cognitive solutions and cloud," said Ginni Rometty.

"Our ability to apply deep expertise and breakthrough technology, led by Watson and the IBM Cloud, to massive amounts of data is enabling us to build new markets and transform industries," added Rometty.

IBM's total cloud revenue for the year now stands at $12.7 billion, the largest of any provider.

"We're building cloud data centres which don't come online at 90% utilisation, you build utilisation as you ramp," said IBM chief financial officer Martin Schroeter, speaking to Reuters.

IBM recently started a $3 billion plan to connect the super-computer Watson to IoT networks. From this, the firm announced a $200 million investment in a new global headquarters based in Munich, in response to growing demands from businesses that want to restructure using AI and IoT.

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