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REVENUE RISES, BUT IBM POSTS A LOSS OVER LOTUS

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IBM's third-quarter operating profit rose healthily, but the company experienced its first loss in two years after taking a special charge to help pay for its acquisition of Lotus Development Corp.

Computer sales were flat during the July-September period, International Business Machines Corp. said Tuesday. And it said more job cuts are likely during the next few months.IBM took a $1.8 billion charge related to its $3.5 billion deal for Lotus, which closed in July and is the largest acquisition ever in the software industry.

The charge led the company to post a loss of $538 million, or 96 cents a share. It was the first loss for IBM since the third quarter of 1993.

Without the charge, IBM would have earned $1.3 billion, or $2.30 a share. The company earned $710 million, or $1.18 a share, in the third quarter a year ago.

Revenue was $16.8 billion, up 9 percent from $15.4 billion in the third quarter of 1994.

IBM chairman Louis V. Gerstner Jr. termed computer sales "disappointing" but said the breadth of IBM's product line allowed the company to report "good results overall."