IBM offers rosy forecast
IBM Corp. offered an upbeat outlook for 2004 as it announced that fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled and surpassed Wall Street expectations Thursday, continuing a streak of good financial news from technology companies.
In the last three months of 2003, IBM earned $2.7 billion, or $1.55 per share, on revenue of $25.9 billion. Those figures all surged from the comparable period a year earlier, when IBM posted a net profit of $1 billion, or 59 cents per share, on revenue of $23.7 billion.
The company said it could earn in 2004 slightly more than the $4.87 per share estimate that many analysts have attached to the company. For all of 2003, the company earned $4.32 per share, up from $2.06 per share in 2002.
Stewart judge barring media from jury process
The federal judge in the Martha Stewart case said Thursday that members of the media would not be allowed to watch the questioning of prospective jurors -- a process usually held in open court.
U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum said she was concerned reporters might disclose the names of potential jurors and their answers to the questions they are asked.
The judge said she would release a transcript of the interviews the following day, with names withheld. The interviews are set to begin Tuesday.
Stewart is accused of lying to investigators about why she sold ImClone Systems stock in 2001.
Airbus orders top Boeing
European airplane manufacturer Airbus SA said Thursday it delivered 305 jets in 2003, beating its own forecast of 300 and making it the market leader over Boeing for the first time.
The total barely topped Airbus' 303 deliveries in 2002, and the company said it expected "close to 300" in 2004 in a market that's likely to remain "soft."
Boeing earlier this month reported 281 aircraft deliveries in 2003 and is forecasting between 275 and 290 this year.
Todd Blecher, a spokesman for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Renton, Wash., said Thursday that the company was not surprised that Airbus delivered more airplanes.