IBM's 2013 outlook raises hopes for more tech spending
"Given the fact it's Q4 with a cloud of the fiscal cliff, it's a positive indication that tech software will be doing better in the next couple of months," he added.
But Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said the success appeared to be more specific to IBM than the industry in general.
"The results show that the IBM advantage and business model - vertical integration of hardware and software - is difficult to replicate," he said.
IBM has shifted its focus to higher-margin software and services from tech products over the past decade.
"IBM has been doing this the longest and customers are very accustomed to it. They have a much stronger offering and brand name."
IBM shares rose more than 4 percent to $204.36 after closing at $196.08 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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