There may be a notion that is very difficult to stomach for even the deepest of value stock investors. Could it be even remotely possible that International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) could become the best-performing stock of the entire 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) stocks in 2015? The notion may sound absolutely silly on the surface, but history could end up working in Big Blue’s favor if Ginny Rometty can manage to pull even one rabbit out of the hat in 2015.
24/7 Wall St. wanted to evaluate which forces could propel IBM higher, as well as which forces may keep working against it. Our take as of the start of December is that it is still too soon to begin making 2015 individual predictions.
Before wondering what exactly might drive the cart for IBM to be the best DJIA stock of 2015, some basic DJIA component performance history should be considered here. When we ran the DJIA bull and bear case for 2014 back in January, it turns out that the analysts covering IBM were calling for a gain of roughly 3% on average for all of 2014. As of Tuesday, IBM was the worst performing of the 30 DJIA stocks, with a loss of 10%.
Other past DJIA blunders have been off the mark as well. Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was kicked out of the DJIA late in 2013, but it would have been at the top of the list for DJIA stocks with a gain of more than 60% so far in 2014. Also as of Tuesday, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was the best performing of all DJIA stocks, with a gain of over 47%. When we ran the 2014 bull and bear case for Intel in January, the average analyst was looking for a loss of about 5%. IBM is greatly out of favor, but is there a chance that sentiment has simply gone way too negative?
Then there is the trickery of chasing the best performers. Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was the best performing DJIA stock in 2013, with a gain of about 84%. Our own 2014 bull and bear analysis using public analyst data called for a consensus gain of almost 10% for 2014, but year to date its shares are marginally just under flat, even if analysts now expect close to 15% gains ahead.