IBM Tumbles to the Bottom of Dow Stocks

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) had a rough Halloween week, dropping 7.3% and taking over as the worst performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index. The drop in Big Blue’s share price means the stock has lost 24.6% of its value for the year to date.

The second-worst Dow stock so far this year is Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), down 20.2% followed by DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP), down 18.9%, 3M Company (NYSE: MMM), down 18.1%, and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), down 9.8%. There are 11 of the 30 Dow stocks that trade lower so far in 2018.

The blue-chip index shed more than 580 points last week to close at 25,270.83, up about 2.4% compared to the previous Friday’s close. For the year to date, the index is up 1.8%, trailing the Nasdaq Composite (5%) but leading the S&P 500 (up about 1%).

IBM’s week got off to a rough start Tuesday when the tech giant announced its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT). Shares plunged to a new 52-week low on Wednesday.

Red Hat shareholders are receiving a 68% premium to the company’s share price. The stock has never traded at the $190 per share price that IBM has agreed to pay. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said:

The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market. IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.

How a company with sales of around $3 billion and profits of around $260 million is going to turn IBM around remains an exercise for the reader.

IBM stock closed at $115.67 on Friday, down about 1% for the day in a 52-week range of $114.09 to $171.13. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $155.94 and the forward price-earnings ratio is 8.30.

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