Black and red the colours at IBM, SGI

IBM has made a healthy profit in its third quarter while Silicon Graphics has surprised with a loss.

IBM has posted solid third quarter earnings that are slightly better than analysts' reported expectations.

For the quarter that ended September 30, IBM posted earnings of US$1.3 billion, officials say, on revenues of US$18.1 billion, up 8% on the same period last year.

IBM chairman and CEO Louis Gerstner attributes the results to strong sales of PCs and servers, with the exception of the RS/6000 systems. Software sales overall were flat, but sales of Lotus' Notes groupware and Tivoli's systems management software grew, he says. Services were also strong, he says.

For the nine months to date, IBM's earnings are US$3.8 billion.

IBM is on the World Wide Web at http://www.ibm.com.

Silicon Graphics, meanwhile, has posted a quarterly loss for the period to the end of September, falling short of company officials' and analysts' reported expectations.

The workstation and supercomputer vendor blames the loss on delayed orders from customers waiting for the company's new products to be released.

The company's revenues for its first fiscal quarter were US$766 million, an increase over the US$595 million reported during the same period last year, officials say. Its loss, including special charges, was US$22 million, compared with profits of US$58 million during the same period last year, officials say.

The company's charges include a previously announced US$10 million for replacing thousands of microprocessor boards due to flaws in the R10000 64-bit RISC chip. Another US$21 million charge was due to the acquisition of Cray Research.

Silicon Graphics is on the Web at http://www.sgi.com.

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