IBM sheepishly posted a quarterly revenue miss claiming punters had avoided buying really expensive computers and the stronger dollar gutted the company's top line.
According to IBM, businesses and governments are holding back on spending on information technology amid economic uncertainty in Europe and ahead of the US elections next month.
Net income fell to $3.82 billion from $3.84 billion a year ago while net income, excluding acquisition costs, rose five percent to $4.2 billion
Some of that income loss was also due to IBM losing a UK court case related to pension fees.
The over valued state of the US dollar cost IBM more than a billion dollars and revenue fell by five percent to $24.7 billion. This was worse than Wall Street had expected. They had predicted that revenue would fall by three percent to $25.36 billion.
Chief financial officer Mark Loughridge tried to put a brave face. He said that the third quarter started on a stronger trajectory than the company saw for the full quarter.
A handful of deals fell out of the quarter when IBM thought they were certain.
It seeams that IBM was hoping that Mexico and Australia would have done a bit better, but sales in these countries slumped.
Analysts were not prepared to write off IBM. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry told Reuters that customers are holding off with purchases ahead of the US presidential election, going ahead only with smaller buys instead of replacing entire systems.
There is also the not-so simple matter of Europe sorting out its debt problems. Some analysts think that numbers for IBM will get better as this was always going to be a soft quarter.