Why IBM Earnings Aren’t Enough

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International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) reported first quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. The company said that it had $2.45 in earnings per share (EPS) on $19.1 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $2.41 in EPS on $18.82 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $2.35 in EPS on $18.16 billion in revenue.

In terms of its segments, IBM reported for the first quarter:

  • Cognitive Solutions (includes solutions software and transaction processing software) — revenues of $4.3 billion, up 6% (up 2% adjusting for currency), driven by solutions software, including security, analytics, and industry platforms; and transaction processing software.
  • Global Business Services (includes consulting, global process services and application management) — revenues of $4.2 billion, up 4% (down 1% adjusting for currency). Strategic imperatives revenue grew 12% led by the cloud consulting practice, with double-digit growth in analytics and mobile.
  • Technology Services & Cloud Platforms (includes infrastructure services, technical support services and integration software) — revenues of $8.6 billion, up 5% (down 1% adjusting for currency). Strategic imperatives revenue grew 24%, driven by hybrid cloud services, security and mobile.
  • Systems (includes systems hardware and operating systems software) — revenues of $1.5 billion, up 8% (up 4% adjusting for currency) driven by growth in IBM Z and Power.
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) — revenues of $405 million, flat year to year (down 4% adjusting for currency).

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see EPS of at least $13.80, with free cash flow of roughly $12 billion. There are consensus estimates calling for $13.84 in EPS on $80.26 billion in revenue for the full year.

On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $11.95 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $11.97 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO, commented:

In the first quarter we maintained momentum in our business, with reported revenue growth in total and across our major segments. These results reinforce that our clients value our innovative technologies, our industry expertise and our commitment and actions for the responsible stewardship of their privacy and data. This is also reflected in our leadership positions in enterprise cloud, AI and security.

Shares of IBM closed the day at $160.94, with a consensus analyst price target of $170.25 and a 52-week range of $139.13 to $171.69. Following the announcement, the stock was down 5% at $152.75 in the after-hours session.