What to Expect When IBM Reports After the Close

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International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is scheduled to release its first-quarter financial results after the markets close on Tuesday. The consensus estimates are calling for $2.41 in earnings per share (EPS) on $18.82 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $2.35 and $18.16 billion in revenue.

At the firm’s investor day back in March, IBM soldiered through a blizzard of numbers that ultimately did not have the intended effect on the stock’s price. Big Blue stressed its investments in new technologies and its returns to investors.

Also at that time, IBM presented a “longer-term” model calling for low-single-digit revenue growth, mid-single-digit pretax income growth, high-single-digit EPS growth and free cash flow realization of more than 90%. Free cash flow realization is defined as free cash flow to income from continuing operations.

More recently, IBM was hit with age discrimination charges. The news once again will raise the question about the tenure of CEO Ginni Rometty, who has presided over the demise of IBM. The company has suffered quarter after quarter of falling revenue. She has tried unsuccessfully to make IBM a leader in cloud computing. In the meantime, its older software, services and hardware businesses have suffered. In some cases, IBM’s products and services compete in sectors of the tech industry that are disappearing.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, IBM had underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down 7% in the past 52 weeks. However, in just 2018 alone, the stock is beating the markets up about 3%.

A few analysts weighed in on IBM ahead of the report:

  • Pivotal Research has a Buy rating with a $180 price target.
  • Merrill Lynch has a Buy rating and a $200 target price.
  • BMO Capital Markets has a Hold rating with a $175 target.

Shares of Big Blue were last seen up 1.4% at $160.13, with a consensus analyst price target of $170.25 and a 52-week trading range of $139.13 to $171.69.

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