IBM beats Q4 expectations, reports full-year revenue growth

Cloud revenue for FY 2018 reached $19.2 billion, up 12 percent.

IBM published its fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday. Revenues for the quarter were down year-over-year, but the company stressed its full-year return to growth in fiscal 2018.

For Q4, IBM reported a non-GAAP EPS of $4.87 on revenue of $21.8 billion, down 3 percent year-over-year.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $4.84 per share on revenue of $21.75 billion.

For the full FY 2018, non-GAAP earnings per share came to $13.81 on revenues of $79.6 billion, up 1 percent year-over-year.

"In 2018 we returned to full-year revenue growth, reflecting growing demand for our services and leadership solutions in hybrid cloud, AI, analytics and security," CEO Ginni Rometty said in a statement. "Major clients worldwide, such as BNP Paribas, are turning to the IBM Cloud and our unmatched industry expertise to transform their businesses and drive innovation."

More specifically, for the full fiscal year, IBM's "strategic imperatives" -- which includes cloud and analytics -- hit $39.8 billion, up 9 percent. Cloud revenue for FY 2018 reached $19.2 billion, up 12 percent. The as-a-service annual exit run rate for cloud revenue was $12.2 billion in the quarter, up 18 percent year to year.

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In Q4, the Cognitive Solutions segment, which includes solutions software and transaction processing software, brought in revenues of $5.5 billion, flat year to year. Global Business Services, which includes consulting, application management and global process services, saw revenues of $4.3 billion, up 4 percent.

Technology Services & Cloud Platforms -- which includes infrastructure services, technical support services and integration software  -- achieved revenues of $8.9 billion in Q4. While revenues in the segment were down 3 percent, it saw growth in hybrid cloud revenue. Q4 Systems revenue -- including systems hardware and operating systems software -- came to $2.6 billion, down 21 percent. Global Financing, which includes financing and used equipment sales, brought in Q4 revenues of $402 million, down 11 percent.

For the full year 2019, IBM expects a non-GAAP EPS of at least $13.90.