NEW YORK (AP) — Growing software businesses such as Internet-based computing and data analytics helped IBM boost earnings per share for the 40th consecutive quarter — a full decade — even as revenue was largely flat.

IBM's stock price increased more than 4 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement, as the results seemed to ease investor worries about the uncertain global economy dampening corporate and government spending on technology. The results beat Wall Street's expectations, as is often the case with IBM. The technology bellwether's guidance for 2013 was also stronger than expected.

It has helped that the company has been focusing on growing its software business, which has higher profit margins, over hardware. In fact, software was the only business segment that saw a revenue increase during the quarter.

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