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Another IBM Earnings Beat

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Big Blue continues its trend, though not in blow-out fashion.

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To say that I can't wait for the 4 p.m. close today would be an understatement. What a long week! Honey, I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

Asian stocks ended mixed. The Hang Seng was down 0.31% and the Nikkei finished up 0.18%. European stocks were in positive territory early this morning. And here in the US we are currently trading lower.

Here's what I'm focused on this fine Friday morning:

International Business Machines (IBM)
"Big Blue" does it again.

The company, which should need no formal introduction, turned in $2.40 in its third quarter, which was a respectable $0.02 north of what analysts had been figuring on. And it beat on the top line too.

My quick take:

1. While I'm happy with the beat, some were expecting the company to really blow out the number. So there might be some underpants out there that get bunched this morning.

2. I gotta tell you that this line in the release stood out to me. "IBM now expects full-year 2009 earnings of at least $9.85 per share compared with its previous expectation of at least $9.70 per share."

3. In short, I'm sensing a pullback, a sell on the news if you will. If it gets back into the low $120s it will sure look pretty.

For my last take on IBM, click here.

Williams Sonoma (WSM)
Justin Sharon points out in his article this morning that Goldman lowered its rating from Buy to Neutral.

My two cents:

It's a great place to shop and to buy stuff for around the house, but right now as a potential investment I'm not crazy about it. Given the competition out there and the fact that the company is expected to earn just $0.33 this year and $0.53 next year, I don't think the stock is worth $22 and change. Gimmie Target (TGT) instead.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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