International Business Machines (IBM) finally delivered the long-awaited robust quarterly numbers that retail investors and Wall Street had been craving, lifting the stock by 10% in a single session post-earnings. IBM had been trading in the doldrums for months as the bear market in Q4 2018 took the stock down to the sub $120 level, where it traded for months until its Q4 earnings release broke this negative trend. IBM suffered a stock implosion after its Q3 earnings release that fell short of expectations coupled with its announcement that it will be acquiring Red Hat (RHT) for $34 billion. The combination of bad news in conjunction with the bear market backdrop yielded an IBM stock that traded at a 5-year low of $106 with a 5.9% dividend yield. IBM has had a long turn in restoring growth after posting 20+ consecutive quarters of declining revenue however IBM had posted quarters of revenue growth as of late. This growth has come on heels of its long-term imperatives beginning to bear fruit in emerging high-value segments that has fundamentally changed its business mix while evolving its offerings to align with new age information technology demands. The Red Hat acquisition will ostensibly augment its transition away from its dependency on legacy businesses to the future of cloud, artificial intelligence, and analytics. As IBM transitions to quarterly revenue growth, in the backdrop of its evolution to emerging high-value segments (i.e. blockchain) and bringing the Red Hat portfolio into the fold, IBM presents a compelling investment opportunity, despite its recent pop after earnings were announced. In addition to the evolving business mix in strategic imperatives, IBM offers a great dividend, share buyback program while continuously acquiring companies to drive the business into the future.
Q4 Earnings – 10% Post Earnings Pop
IBM reported Q4 earnings of $4.87 EPS and revenue of $21.76 billion which was a -3.5% year-over-year decline however beat analysts’ targets by $30 million on revenue. IBM popped the following day as the company laid out its growth narrative and Red Hat acquisition. In its faster-growing business segments such as strategic imperatives and Cognitive Solutions, revenue grew by 9% and 2%, respectively. Continue reading "IBM Finally Delivers Robust Numbers"