IBM Corp., the world’s biggest computer-services provider, forecast profit that exceeded analyst estimates as the company shifts to data analysis and cloud computing.
Earnings in 2013 will be at least $16.70 a share, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM said. That compares with the $16.64 average estimate of analysts tracked by Bloomberg. The company’s profit for the fourth quarter, excluding items such as amortization and pension costs, rose to $6.1 billion, or $5.39 a share. In Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty’s first year of leadership, the company has continued a shift to more profitable businesses such as software for data analysis and away from hardware. The company is aiming for $20 in earnings per share by 2015.