International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) released its earnings report for the three months starting June 1 this afternoon, Wednesday October 16, after the market closed. The company showed earnings per share of $3.99 for the third quarter. Revenue in the period came to $23.7 billion. On today’s market, IBM stock rose a fraction to close at $185.74 per share.

IBM

In the run up to the release of the International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) earnings report, analysts following the company were looking for earnings of $3.96 per share. Revenue for the three months period was expected to come in at $24.8 billion. In the same three months of 2012 IBM earned $3.62 on revenue of $24.7 billion.

IBM Earnings

IBM earnings are an important event because the company is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or DJIA. The firm’s poor showing throughout the year so far has been blamed for the underperformance of that metric when compared with the wider market. IBM missed analyst expectations on the earnings reports it delivered in April and June.

As one of the oldest computer companies around, International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) has ridden through highs and lows before. The firm’s performance this year has been depressed by difficulties in Europe that have led to less service revenue, and difficulties in hardware.

Analysts are hoping that 2014 will see European recovery and result in an uptick in enterprise IT spending. International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) is one of the leaders in business information systems and other enterprise IT services. The sector has been identified as one heading for growth in the next decade, but it hasn’t come fast enough to appease IBM shareholders.

IBM performance

So far in 2013, shares in International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) have lost just over 3 percent of their value. In the same period, the DJIA gained 17 percent and the S&P 500 gained more than 20 percent. IBM has been lagging behind the wider market and its competitors. With a P/E of over 13, investors are pricing some growth into the firm’s stock, but that doesn’t seem to be coming this year.

IBM executives will host an earnings call to discuss these results this afternoon at 4:30 PM EST. Investors and analysts will be anxious to know when the company thinks European business will be back to solid growth, and what strategy the firm has for competition in the server industry.