IBM and American Express up as Microsoft’s profits struggle

IBM beat fourth quarter profit estimates last night and said it aims to grow earnings by at least 10 per cent in 2012. The company brought in revenues of $29.5bn (£19bn) in the fourth quarter, up from $29bn in the same period last year. Shares were up 2.6 per cent in extended trading.

And American Expresss benefited from an increase in average customer spend to achieve quarterly income of $1.19bn compared with $1.06bn last year.

But Microsoft’s second quarter profit fell very slightly as lagging computer sales to cash-strapped consumers in the United States and Europe hurt its core business.

The company’s Windows unit reported a six per cent dip in sales to $4.7bn and shows no immediate signs of improvement.