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July 28, 1994

MORE TO IBM’s REDUNDANCY COSTS THAN MEETS THE EYE

By CBR Staff Writer

One of the nice things about the horror of taking an $8,000m or so hit against your figures for redundancies as IBM Corp did this time last year is that it leaves you with the option of writing some of it back if you later decide you over-estimated the costs of the reorganisation you plan: the fact that IBM’s profits this year have consistently wrong-footed analysts by coming out better than anyone had dared hope makes one wonder how much of that $8,000m has been quietly written back – it would have had to declare it as Apple Computer Inc did with its latest figures if it made a direct reversal of part of the charge, but a fair part of the $8,000m hit was not for redundancies but was for writing down things like inventory and property, and if that can then be sold for more than the company expected, the difference feeds straight through to the bottom line as a windfall.

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