Oct. 31, 2014, 6:49 PM
- Tencent's (OTCPK:TCEHY) MyApp Android app store is now seeing 100M daily downloads, up from just 76M in July. The figure covers both apps downloaded directly from the MyApp store, and from Tencent's WeChat and Mobile QQ messaging platforms.
- Qihoo and Baidu's 91 Wireless unit remain the leaders in China's fragmented Android app store market - 91 Wireless averaged 130M downloads/day in Q2. But the near-ubiquitous reach of WeChat/QQ within China, together with Tencent's mobile gaming clout, is helping Tencent gain ground.
- Separately, Tencent, which is best known for its consumer offerings, has signed an MOU with IBM to jointly sell cloud apps and related services to Chinese SMBs. Tencent's cloud services unit will host the apps, and IBM will provide consulting and IT services.
Oct. 29, 2014, 12:10 PM
- The partnership will allow businesses to "incorporate Twitter (TWTR -2.1%) data into their decision-making through an established set of IBM (IBM +0.1%) tools, solutions and consulting services." (PR)
- IBM plans to "offer Twitter data as part of select cloud-based services, including IBM Watson Analytics," and allow 3rd-party developers to integrate Twitter data into services they're creating via IBM's cloud app platform (PaaS) offerings.
- The first joint solution will involve IBM's ExperienceOne customer engagement software/services. Eventually, the companies will offer "solutions for specific industries such as banking, consumer products, retail, and travel and transportation."
- Twitter: "While companies have long listened to what their customers are saying on Twitter, complex enterprise decisions often require input from a lot of different systems. IBM’s expertise is in integrating complex systems and data to make better decisions."
- While IBM's total revenue fell 4% Y/Y in Q3, its business analytics revenue was up 8%; Big Blue has made a string of acquisitions to bolster its analytics portfolio.
- No details are given on the revenue Twitter will receive for providing its data. Twitter's data licensing/other revenue rose 171% Y/Y in Q3, and made up 11% of total revenue.
Oct. 28, 2014, 12:37 PM
- Along with declaring its regular dividend, IBM (IBM +0.2%) has announced it's adding $5B to its buyback plan, raising its total authorization to $6.4B. The company expects to request a new authorization at its April 2015 board meeting.
- With free cash flow declining - it's down 13% Y/Y over the first 9 months of 2014 - IBM has slowed its buyback pace in recent quarters. Big Blue spent $1.7B on buybacks in Q3, down from $3.7B in Q2, and stated earlier this year it would spend less on buybacks in 2014 than the $13.9B spent in 2013.
Oct. 28, 2014, 12:27 PM| 2 Comments
Oct. 22, 2014, 4:15 AM
- Lufthansa (OTCQX:DLAKY) is close to selling its IT infrastructure unit to IBM (NYSE:IBM), including an outsourcing agreement for the services, as part of a restructuring to better position itself to compete with low-cost carriers and Gulf rivals.
- The move will reduce Lufthansa's annual IT costs by around €70M a year, but will result in a €240M ($305.2M) charge this year.
- Under the planned deal, Lufthansa will outsource all of its IT infrastructure services to IBM under a seven-year agreement. A final price for the sale is still being negotiated.
Oct. 21, 2014, 10:54 AM
- Evercore has downgraded IBM (IBM -4.2%) to Hold a day after the company missed Q3 estimates, offered light full-year guidance, pulled its 2015 EPS target, and reported a 7% Y/Y services backlog drop. Not surprisingly, many other firms have cut their targets.
- Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha, bearish for some time, has slashed his target by $35 to $125. Though calling the resetting of expectations a positive and noting a mainframe upgrade cycle is on the way, Garcha argues IBM "continues to face multiple issues to revenue growth including high mainframe exposure, negative cloud impact and weak IT spending."
- BofA/Merrill's Wamsi Mohan tries to find a silver lining. "In our opinion, the reset in expectations provides an opportunity for IBM to redefine the broader strategy without the rigidity of near term targets. We expect a detailed business strategy update at the Analyst day in 2015 but near term headwinds will likely keep the stock range bound and we remain Neutral."
- The WSJ observes IBM could lose its status as one of the S&P 500's 20 most valuable companies for the first time in history.
- Yesterday's earnings coverage
Oct. 20, 2014, 12:03 PM
- After badly missing Q3 EPS estimates (in spite of backing out the losses of its soon-to-be-sold chip unit), IBM (IBM -6.7%) guided on its Q3 CC for 2014 EPS from continuing ops. to be down 2%-4% Y/Y. That implies a range of $15.97-$16.30, soundly below a $17.87 consensus.
- Big Blue also says it took a $3.3B Q3 post-tax charge related to the chip business; the figure includes the $1.5B payment to Globalfoundries.
- During a CNBC interview, CEO Ginny Rometty suggested fresh layoffs are on tap. The company recorded a $1B workforce rebalancing charge back in Q1; its headcount was at 431K at the end of 2013.
- IBM's closely-watched services backlog fell 7% Y/Y in Q3 to $128B, a much sharper drop than Q2's 1%; the company declares it saw "insufficient" services productivity. Also worrying investors: Gross margin fell 90 bps to 49.2%, ending a long string of Y/Y gains.
- Other pressures on EPS: 1) The non-GAAP tax rate rose 80 bps Q/Q and 320 bps Y/Y to 20.8%. 2) Buybacks fell to $1.7B from Q2's $3.7B. 3) Opex for continuing ops rose 2% Y/Y, while revenue from continuing ops fell 4% (helps explain the job cut talk).
- Hardware revenue (excludes chips) -15% Y/Y; software -2%; global tech services -3%; global business services -2%; financing -3%. Within hardware: Mainframes -35%; Power systems -12%; x86 servers (just sold to Lenovo) -10%; storage -6%.
- Two strong points: "Cloud delivered as a service" revenue is up over 80% YTD ($3.1B/year run rate), and security revenue is up over 20% YTD.
- Americas revenue -2%; EMEA -2%; Asia-Pac -9%. "Growth markets" -6%, with BRIC countries down 7%.
- Free cash flow ($2.2B) was once more well below net income ($3.7B). IBM ended Q3 with $9.6B in cash, and $17.1B in non-financing debt.
- Q3 results, details, PR
Oct. 20, 2014, 9:21 AM
Oct. 20, 2014, 7:30 AM
- "We are disappointed in our performance," says CEO Ginni Rometty. "We saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behavior, and our results also point to the unprecedented pace of change in our industry."
- Non-GAAP operating income from continuing operations (excludes semiconductor business whose acquisition by Globalfoundries was announced today) of $3.7B is off 18%; operating EPS of $3.68 is lower by 10%. Gross profit margin of 49.2% down 90 basis points.
- Guidance will be discussed further in the 8AM ET conference call, but the presentation slides say the company no longer expects to deliver at least $20 in operating EPS in 2015.
- More from Rometty: "We again performed well in our strategic growth areas cloud, data and analytics, security, social and mobile - where we continue to shift our business. We will accelerate this transformation."
- IBM -8% premarket
- Previously: International Business Machines misses on revenue
Oct. 20, 2014, 7:09 AM
- International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM): Q3 EPS of $3.68 misses by $0.64.
- Revenue of $22.4B (-4.0% Y/Y) misses by $970M.
- Shares +1% PM.
- Press Release
- Previously: Globalfoundries to take control of IBM's semiconductor operations
Oct. 20, 2014, 1:40 AM
- IBM (NYSE:IBM) has reached an agreement with Globalfoundries to take over its loss-making semiconductor unit, WSJ reports.
- Under the terms of the deal, IBM will pay Globalfoundries $1.5B to take the chip operations off its hands, a source says.
- IBM is scheduled to report Q3 earnings premarket.
- Previously: IBM to make 'major announcement,' release earnings Monday morning
Oct. 19, 2014, 5:59 PM| 57 Comments
Oct. 19, 2014, 5:30 PM
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:31 PM
- IBM's (IBM +0.5%) SoftLayer unit has been added to the list of cloud infrastructure (IaaS) providers supporting SAP's (SAP +0.7%) Hana Enterprise Cloud platform, which delivers SAP cloud apps (including the core SAP Business Suite) running on top of the company's Hana in-memory database.
- SAP already offers Hana Enterprise Cloud through its own data centers. The company also supports Hana use by 3rd-party cloud app developers, both through its own Hana Cloud platform and Amazon Web Services.
- An SAP exec talks up the geographic reach of IBM's data centers, and its ability to address security concerns. "A lot of our customers are concerned about data sovereignty and privacy controls. IBM was the obvious choice to help us address that."
- In January, IBM announced plans to build 15 new data centers to expand its cloud reach. Amazon and Microsoft have also been growing their global data center footprints.
- Separately, SAP has struck an OEM and managed cloud services deal with Unisys (UIS +1.1%). Unisys will offer Hana-based "bundled data analytics solutions" running on its Forward high-end server platform, as well as Hana-based analytics services "hosted in a Unisys- or partner-managed data center through a pay-for-use subscription." The services are initially aimed at U.S. federal clients.
Oct. 10, 2014, 2:00 PM
- "We think IBM (IBM +0.5%) will continue to be a critically important IT company long-term due to its deep R&D investments, but we think the company faces a period of market transition," says Jefferies' James Kisner, launching coverage on Big Blue (as part of a sector launch) with an Underperform rating and $163 target.
- Like many other analysts, Kisner is worried about the impact of the cloud transition - both the adoption of cloud/SaaS apps and public cloud infrastructure services (often running on white-label hardware). He also highlights a broader shift in IT spend from "legacy" vendors as investments are made in "growth initiatives."
- In addition, Kisner echoes sell-side concerns about IBM's earnings quality: He thinks the company is respectively too dependent on vendor financing and buybacks for sales and EPS growth, and notes free cash flow has trailed net income.
- In spite of the launch, IBM is up modestly on a down day for tech. Q3 results are due on Oct. 20.
Sep. 29, 2014, 2:00 AM
- Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY) will complete its $2.1B acquisition of IBM's (NYSE:IBM) x86 server unit on Oct. 1, giving China's biggest personal computer maker a major asset to expand its business client offerings.
- The closing purchase price is lower than the $2.3B valuation announced in January because of a change in the valuation of inventory and deferred revenue liability, says Lenovo.
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International Business Machines Corp is an Information Technology (IT) company. It creates business value for clients and solves business problems through integrated solutions that leverage information technology & knowledge of business processes.
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