A man stands near an IBM logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​Spain, 25 February 2019. REUTERS / Sergio Perez

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM.N) returned to revenue growth after a year of decline in the first quarter, beating Wall Street targets on Monday, bolstered by its betting in the high-margin cloud computing business.

The Dow component stocks, which are up nearly 6% so far this year, gained more than 4% in expanded trading.

Finance chief James Kavanaugh said cloud spending by customers in the US retail, manufacturing and travel industries is picking up again after the initial pandemic slump.

Cloud computing services revenue grew 21% to $ 6.5 billion for the quarter. The 109-year-old company is preparing to split into two listed companies. The company of the same name focuses less on the so-called hybrid cloud, in which it sees a market opportunity of 1 trillion US dollars.

Big Blue saw sales decline at …


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