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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)

Fatah, Hamas to discuss security in Gaza under unity deal

GAZA/RAMALLAH (Reuters) – Negotiators from rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Islamist group Hamas will discuss security in the Gaza Strip at unity talks in Cairo on Tuesday, including a proposal that would see Fatah security personnel deployed to Hamas-dominated territory.

The plan for 3,000 Fatah security officers to join a Gaza police force over the course of a year, part of a unity deal mediated by Egypt in 2011, would restore much of the influence of Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza and further loosen Hamas grip.

The deal was never implemented.

The Western-backed mainstream Fatah party lost control of the enclave to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the West and Israel, in fighting in 2007 .

The loss damaged Abbas credibility in the eyes of the West and Israel, after years of being their main Palestinian diplomatic counterpart.

But under Egypt s mediation, major steps have been made towards narrowing rifts since Hamas handed administrative powers in Gaza to a Fatah-backed government last month.

The move was a major reversal for Hamas and was partially prompted by the group s fears of potential financial and political isolation after its main donor Qatar suffered a major diplomatic crisis with key allies.

The sides will discuss the security issue, especially in Gaza, in the way that serves the home front, enforces the rule of law in a professional and national way and is not factional, said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

The deal would see Hamas, which has the most powerful armed Palestinian faction with an estimated 25,000 well-equipped fighters who have fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

The issue of arms of resistance is not up for discussion, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters .

Israel s enmity with Hamas means greater unity with Fatah is unlikely to help any future efforts for a peace deal with Israel.

But both sides hope that the deal s proposed deployment of security personnel from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to Gaza s borders will encourage Egypt and Israel to ease their tight restrictions at border crossings, a badly needed step to help Gaza revive its economy and improve the living standards of its two million residents.

Officials said that apart from the implementation of the 2011 agreement and security, the Cairo talks would also cover issues such as setting a date for presidential and legislative elections and reforming the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is in charge of long-stalled peace efforts with Israel.

What happened in the past days is something like a declaration of principles while the two sides have postponed final status issues to the talks in Cairo, said Gaza political analyst Akram Attallah.

Abbas has pledged there would be one authority, one law, one administration, one weapon in the Gaza Strip, a statement seeming to challenge Hamas continued security dominance.

But Tayseer Nasrallah, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Reuters: There are difficult challenges and it will take time to overcome them.

Outstanding issues include the fate of 40,000 to 50,000 employees hired by Hamas over the past 10 years and its demand Abbas lift economic sanctions he imposed in recent months to try to pressure the group to compromise.

Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Raissa Kasolowsky

Electronics dealer CeX suffers major security breach

Second-hand electronics and video games dealer CeX has suffered a serious security breach, with the data of up to two million customers being stolen from its online store. The company, privately held by its founder Robert Dudani, operates a nationwide chain of high-street shops buying and selling electronics and video games, as well as an online retail platform. It said late on Tuesday that the stolen data included the names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of many customers.

The data also included old credit card information, but CeX assured it was all for expired credit cards, as it had not held customer credit card data in-house for a number of years.

A small amount of encrypted data from expired credit and debit cards may have been compromised, the company said in a statement.

We would like to make it clear that any payment card information that may have been taken, has long since expired as we stopped storing card data in 2009. CeX was advising customers to change their passwords for the website, as well as for any other websites on which they use the same or similar passwords.

Although your password has not been stored in plain text, if it is not particularly complex then it is possible that in time, a third party could still determine your original password and could attempt to use it across other, unrelated services. CeX said it was contacting the up-to-two million customers that may have been affected, and was working with the police and a cyber security expert to to gather details of the attack and work to prevent another from happening.