International Business Machines Corp. reported record earnings of $2.719 billion for 1977, up from $2.398 billion in 1976, the company said in a preliminary financial statement issued yesterday.
Net earnings per share gained 14.8 per cent in 1977 to $18.30, against $15.94 per share a year earlier.
Consolidated gross income came to $18.133 billion compared with $16.304 billion in 1976, the world's largest manufacturer of data-processing equipment said.
"High worldwide levels of outright purchases of data-processing equipment continued throughout 1977, resulting in a record level for the year, with the fourth quarter higher than any previous quarter," said Frank T. Cary, IBM chairman.
He added that sales were expected to remain strong in 1978 but that "it is unlikely that the strong rate of increase experienced in 1977 will continue in 1978."
Rentals of equipment in 1977 increased by a moderate 6.7 per cent, reflecting the relatively heavy emphasis on outright purchases, IBM said.
Revenue in the fourth quarter reached a record of $5.038 billion, and net earnings were $797 million ($5.38 a share). Gross income in the comparable 1976 quarter was $4.519 billion, producing net income of $674 million ($4.47).
Cary also said the declining value of the dollar against many major world currencies in the latter part of 1977 resulted in a foreign currency exchange gain of $64 million in the fourth quarter.
That more than offset earlier exchange losses and reflected a net gain for the year of $28 million, principally of unrealized gains from the translation of foreign currency assets and liabilities, Cary said.
Chase Manhattan Corp., holding company for the nation's third largest bank, yesterday reported a 40.8 per cent gain in fourth-quarter profits, helped in part by higher income foreign loans.
The bank's fourth-quarter profits from operations totalled $36.2 million ($1.06 a share), up from 1976's fourth-quarter profits of $25.7 million (80 cents). However, profits after securities transactions were flat at $37 million for both fourth quarters.
For the year, profits from operations totalled $123.2 million ($3.71), up 17.2 per cent from $105.1 million ($3.28) in 1976. Profits after securities totalled $127 million, up 9 per cent from $116.4 million in 1976.
Chase said its annual profits were aided by higher interest income from foreign loans, a smaller provision for bad loans and higher income from sources besides loans. On the other hand, it said narrower margins between its cost of money and interest rates in the United States reduced its profits from domestic operations.
Among other banking companies First Pennsylvania Corp. reported higher fourth-quarter earnings an Bank of New York Co. Inc., said its earnings fell slightly in the final period of 1977.
The holding company for the First Pennsylvania Bank of Philadelphia, said its fourth-quarter net before securities transactions was $6.17 million (47 cents a share) compared with $4.87 million (37 cents) in 1976. But a securities loss in the quarter reduced net earnings to $5.74 million, up from the final net of $4.96 million in 1976.
For the full year, First Pennsylvania reported net income of $27.09 million ($2.06) against $23.11 million ($1.76) in 1976.
Net income for Bank of New York, Inc., dropped to $8.56 million ($1.43 a share) in the final quarter of 1977 from $9.90 million ($1.65). Before securities transactions, the quarterly operating income was $8.92 million ($1.49) against $8.97 million ($1.50).
Final net earnings for 1977, after securities transactions, came to $29.59 million ($5.21), down from $33.01 million ($5.51).