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$IBM General Update: Announced a new Event Readiness services offering that will enable businesses including retail, banking, telecommunications & manufacturing to prepare for unexpected surges in online traffic & sales. Assures brands preparation for surges around all key retail holidays, from Back to School, Cyber Monday & Father's Day.
$IBM said it expects to deliver operating EPS of about $13.80 for 2018. The company also expects free cash flow of about $12Bil, resulting in free cash flow realization of over 100%. Additionally, for 2018, revenue growth is expected at current spot rates.
For FY17, $IBM generated free cash flow of $13Bil, excluding Global Financing receivables. The company also returned $9.8Bil to shareholders through $5.5Bil in dividends and $4.3Bil of gross share repurchases. $IBM ended 4Q17 with $12.6Bil in cash, while debt totaled $46.8Bil, including Global Financing debt of $31.4Bil.
Big Blue $IBM reported its first ever revenue growth in five years, with 4Q17 revenue growth of 3.5% YoY to $22.5Bil, driven by cloud computing business and artificial intelligence investments. However, $IBM reported a net loss of $1.05Bil or $1.14 per share, impacted by a one-time charge of $5.5Bil associated with the enactment of U.S. tax reform.
$IBM BoD declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $1.50 per share, payable Dec. 9, 2017 to stockholders of record Nov. 10, 2017. The board also authorized $3Bil in additional funds for the company’s stock repurchase program. The $3Bil is in addition to approx. $1.5Bil remaining at the end of Sept. 2017 from a prior authorization.
$IBM continues to expect its full-year free cash flow to be relatively flat year-to-year. Looking into 4Q17, the company expects stronger sequential performance due to the mainframe cycle, which is expected to be $300-400MM more compared to the same quarter a year ago.
The weakest "Dogs of the Dow" $IBM posted yet another quarter of missed revenue growth, with profit down 4% to $2.7Bil in 3Q17. A major contributor to revenue, Technology Services & Cloud segment, fell 3.3%. However, growth businesses continued its momentum with Cloud revenue up 20%. Revenue at $19.2Bil and adjusted EPS at $3.30 remained flat YoY.
$IBM to acquire Vivant Digital business, an Australia based innovation consultancy. Vivant Digital will become a brand name in IBM's IBM iX agency. Vivant CEO Anthony Farah will take role of Digital Strategy & iX Leader for IBM Australia and New Zealand. Deal terms were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in 4Q17.
$IBM and University of Alberta published new data in Nature's partner journal Schizophrenia, exhibiting that machine learning algorithms helped predict schizophrenia with 74% accuracy. The technology predicted the severity of some symptoms in schizophrenia patients with significant correlation.
Big Blue $IBM reported 21st consecutive quarter of revenue decline, with 2Q17 earnings declining 7%. The decline was driven by all segments reporting a decline in revenue YoY. Net income was $2.3Bil or $2.48 per share in 2Q17, down from $2.5Bil or $2.61 per share a year ago. Revenue declined 4.7% to $19.3Bil.