IBM keeps meeting ever-higher earnings-per-share targets, but after reporting another year of declining growth in 2013, the company on Tuesday announced plans for "workforce rebalancing" -- code words for layoffs -- as well as new investments in emerging areas aimed at returning the company to growth.
Its lackluster performance in 2013 was marked by a 5% year-over-year decline in revenue (2% in constant currencies) to $99.8 billion. Operating income was up 2% from the prior year to $18 billion, despite a whopping $1.7 billion decline in profit tied to IBM's struggling hardware business.
Declining sales and currency headwinds notwithstanding, IBM managed to pull out a 7% (non-GAAP) year-over-year increase in earnings per share to $16.28. That financial feat was achieved through a combination of share repurchases, positive tax windfalls, and margin improvements.