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IBM’s revenue beats estimates on cloud, security services

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp s (IBM.N1) shift to newer businesses such as cloud and security services helped it beat Wall Street s quarterly revenue estimates, and the company said its latest mainframe is getting enthusiastic adoption .

The company s shares rose nearly 5 percent to $152.80 (115.92 pounds)in extended trading on Tuesday.

Revenue in the company s mainframe business jumped 60 percent in the third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter told Reuters, adding that the business benefited from the newly launched Z14.

The company began shipping the new systems toward the end of September.

System Z uptake topped our expectations, and likely helped support gross profit, said Josh Olson, an analyst with Edward Jones.

Under Chief Executive Ginni Rometty, IBM has in recent years shifted focus to growth areas across its businesses, such as cloud, cybersecurity and data analytics, to counter a slowdown in its legacy hardware and software businesses.

Revenue from these businesses, which IBM calls its strategic imperatives , climbed 11 percent to $8.8 billion in the third quarter ended Sept .

30.

Total revenue fell 0.4 percent to $19.15 billion from a year earlier, marking the smallest quarterly drop since the third quarter of 2016.

IBM s revenue declined for the 22nd quarter in a row as the company continues to exit some legacy businesses, while bolstering its strategic imperatives .

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $18.60 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company s net income fell to $2.73 billion, or $2.92 per share, in the third quarter, from $2.85 billion, or $2.98 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, IBM earned $3.30 per share, beating analysts estimates of $3.28.

Reporting by Pushkala A and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

References

  1. ^ IBM.N (uk.reuters.com)

Trump to nominate Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump was expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, who as the top aide to his White House chief of staff has sought to instil order in Trump s team, to lead the U.S . Department of Homeland Security, a White House official said on Wednesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nielsen would take the reins at a sprawling department with more than 240,000 employees that is responsible for U.S . border and airport security, immigration policy, disaster response, refugee admissions and other matters.

Nielsen, 45, is a cybersecurity expert with a considerable resume in homeland security that includes work at the department s Transportation Security Administration and on Republican former President George W .

Bush s White House Homeland Security Council.

Nielsen was retired Marine Corps General John Kelly s chief of staff when he was secretary of Homeland Security during the opening months of Trump s presidency . Kelly brought her to the White House as his deputy when Trump named him chief of staff in July to replace Reince Priebus after only six months on the job.

The official announcement of her nomination could come as early as later on Wednesday, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity . The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

Nielsen s departure from the White House would mark the latest upheaval in Trump s White House team . She was responsible for carrying out some of Kelly s orders on who gets access to the president . As a result, she has irritated some White House officials who now have limited contact with Trump.

Kelly has sought to bring more order to the chaotic West Wing since replacing Priebus . Trump has welcomed the changes to some extent, although he has privately confided to friends that the limitations on access to the Oval Office sometimes go too far.

Putting Nielsen into the Homeland Security post will allow Trump and Kelly to keep a close eye on the department, but getting her out of the White House could permit some relaxing of Kelly s strictness.

Cyber security is one of the primary issues under the Homeland Security Department s sprawling portfolio . Nielsen previously worked at a cyber think tank at George Washington University, blocks from the White House, and is considered well-versed in some of the more technical missions at the department, such as sharing cyber threat information with the private sector.

The department was created after the Sept .

11, 2001, attacks on the United States exposed cracks in the country s homeland security apparatus.

The appointment comes at a busy time for the department, with one of its agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, overseeing disaster relief in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida as well as wildfire-ravaged areas of California . The department also is responsible for U.S . border security.

The department is a major player in implementing Trump s aggressive stance toward deporting illegal immigrants, as well as vetting the lower number of refugees Trump has decided to allow into the United States.

It seems like a low-drama pick .

It s a little concerning that she seems to have little background in immigration security and policy, but those individual agencies are in good hands already, and there is a strong core of career managers, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which favours more limits on immigration.

Politico first reported the appointment.

Reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Additional reporting by Yeganeh Torbati, Dustin Volz and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by James Dalgleish

Tight security in Barcelona ahead of Catalan independence announcement

Security is tight in a tense Barcelona – with just hours to go until Catalonia possibly declares independence from Spain. Police are guarding public buildings and have closed off a park surrounding the regional parliament – amid concerns that an attempt to break away from Madrid could be met with a harsh response from Spanish authorities. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has not revealed the precise message he will deliver at 6pm local time (5pm UK time), but separatist politicians have said they expect a declaration based on the results of the disputed independence referendum on 1 October. Ahead of the announcement, Barcelona’s mayor said the Catalan referendum is not enough for the region to declare independence from Spain.

Image: Catalan President Carles Puigdemont presides over a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning

Ada Colau said the results of the vote “can’t be a guarantee to proclaim independence but are the opportunity to build dialogue and international mediation”. She appealed to Spain’s prime minister and Catalonia’s political leader to “decrease tension on both sides”, adding that “now is the time to build bridges”. Ms Colau also urged Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to pull out the extra police that have been drafted in to the northeast region as a “gesture of state responsibility”.

Image: Highway management company Abertis is the latest firm to pull out of Catalonia

As many in Spain await what would be a major escalation in the constitutional crisis, more firms have said they are pulling out of the region. Highway management company Abertis and telecoms company Cellnex have joined a growing list of companies moving their headquarters elsewhere. Both are part of Spain’s Ibex 35 index of top listed companies. Abertis and Cellnex said they were pulling out for as long as there is uncertainty about the region’s future.

Image: People have marched for Spanish unity in recent days Image: Hundreds of thousands turned out in Barcelona

They join a slew of companies that are moving, including property group Inmobiliaria Colonial, Banco Sabadell, CaixaBank and energy firm Gas Natural. Publishing house Grupo Planeta also warned it will move to Madrid if independence is declared. Spain’s deputy prime minister earlier warned of a tough response if Catalonia’s political leader, Carlos Puigdemont, decides to announce a split from Spain. Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told COPE radio that “if they declare independence, there will be decisions to restore the law and democracy”. He added: “I’m calling on the sensible people in the Catalan government.. .

don’t jump off the edge because you’ll take the people with you.” The crisis in the region follows an illegal referendum that was condemned by many because of the heavy-handed approach by police. Around 900 people were reportedly hurt when officers seized ballot boxes, fired rubber bullets and forcibly dragged people out of polling stations. Catalonia’s leaders said 90% of the 43% who turned out voted ‘yes’. However, hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for anti-independence rallies, including in Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona1, since the vote. The region’s referendum law states that a declaration would start a six-month process of divorce talks with Spain and regional elections.

  1. Image: Barcelona may be the capital of the Catalan region but thousands gathered there on Sunday in support of unity
  2. Image: Organisers claimed a million people joined the march . Swipe through for more pictures

Mr Puigdemont appeared steadfast on Sunday, saying a ‘yes’ vote necessitated an independence declaration.

“We will apply what the law says,” he told TV3. Mr Rajoy has not ruled out the “nuclear option” of removing the Catalan government and calling fresh regional elections. Pedro Sanchez, leader of Spain’s main opposition party, is also backing the government’s response if an independence declaration is made. Mr Sanchez said “a unilateral declaration of independence doesn’t have a place in a state ruled by law”. He told reporters in Barcelona: “The same way that we are offering our hand for a dialogue, we will also support the state’s response if coexistence among Spaniards is broken unilaterally”.

References

  1. ^ including in Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona (news.sky.com)