Gerstner outlook on IBM boosts stock, Dow

IBM chairman and chief executive officer Lou Gerstner's Internet-focused address to investment analysts on Wednesday so wowed his audience that the company's stock jumped $US14.50 in mid-day trading yesterday, a 6.43 percent rise from Wednesday's close of $225.50.

The jump in IBM stock is being widely credited by market watchers in pulling up the Dow Jones Industrial Average index of major US stocks, which was up 102.24 points at mid-day trading, from Wednesday's close of 11,102.61.

In his address, an annual talk to analysts, Gerstner said that about 25 percent of IBM revenue, or about $20 billion, is now being generated by demand for what the company calls "e-business" technology and services.

Not only are major companies looking to IBM for help in setting up Internet-related applications, but IBM is also increasing sales over the Web. The company sold $3.3 billion over the Internet in 1998, and expects to do between $10 billion and $15 billion in sales over the Web in 1999, he said.

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