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IBM Stock Jumps After & # 39; Cleanest Quarter of Year & # 39;

International Business Machines (IBM) made a big profit after Tuesday's earnings were named the best this year.

Stocks jumped 8.46% a day and marking the biggest earnings day gain since September 2017 as the company's cloud, blockchain and artificial intelligence initiatives offered bulls to buy into the stock and its high-tech turnaround ambitions.

"While I have been in doubt about IBM for some time, I start to believe in the turnaround story here," Tim Collins commented on real money in his column on Wednesday. "A quarter does not, but it does it attentively."

The quarter was definitely one to remember, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

"Despite the main wind cycle of the mainframe, IBM delivered full-year revenue growth and its first quarter of gross margin expansion as Software rebounded and Services growth and margin recovery continued," Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in his earnings statement. "Guidance involves the surplus growth in 201

9 with the management emphasizing more tailwinds than headwinds."

Armonk, New York-based tech titan's $ 4.87 earnings per report. In fact, the stock fell 5% from the same period a year ago, but came in the above FactSet consensus at $ 4.82 per share. Turnover also declined year-on-year to DKK 21.76 billion. $, But come back over the temperate analyst expectation of $ 21.72bn. $.

More positively, as Huberty locked on, the company expected "at least" $ 13.90 in earnings per head. Share and DKK 12 billion in free cash flow in 2019, which is above expectations for earnings and in line with cash flow expectations.

Curbing Estimates on Cash Flow

The stable cash flow is expected to be an important one as cash flows have been an area of ​​concern considering the company's major dividend focus and the latest $ 34 billion block agreement for Red Hat (RHT).

In the longer term, the trade can cause problems such as the eradication of share buy-backs and the pressure on the company's highly protected dividends during its debt burden.

"Our rating remains Market Perform, which partly reflects the upcoming two-year break in stock buybacks, as free cash flow is geared towards Red Hat cash acquisition," Wells Fargo analyst ed caso said. "Our price target [is cut to] $ 140 from $ 155 reflects a lower market multiple and the lack of buybacks is expected to be rejected by 2020-21, offset by signs of further progress in their digital transition."

The company worked more positively to expand its margins specifically into its hollowing cognitive solutions unit, adding shine to the "clean quarter," and proposing realizable growth beyond the broader secular shifts.

Mapping a cloud course

Company bullish bullish calls on its hybrid cloud business, which is likely to be strengthened by Red Hat by the end of the year, has also begun to realize.

The company has recently inked partnerships with Juniper Networks (JNPR), BNP Paribas (BNPQY), Vodafone Group (VOD), Bank of Philippines and Walmart (WMT), suggesting a strong pipeline of cloud companions is available especially as Red Hat joins Big Blue fold.

"IBM's fourth-quarter results signaled strength in software, analytics and services focused on hybrid cloud and digital strategy," wrote Morgan Stanley's Huberty. "Better-than-expected demand for these segments at IBM also responds to feedback from our recent survey, where CIO & # 39; s ranked Cloud Computing, Digital and BI / Analytics in the ranking of Security Software and CRM Applications to become top three initiatives . "

The company declined to elaborate much on how Red Hat could accelerate this pipeline given the expected end date, but its VP for ecosystem Chris Wong told Realm Money that it will play a crucial role, especially in e-commerce.

"We can create solutions for consumers based on what they are looking for," he explained. "A store next to a college courage next to a guest house will be different and have different needs. This is one of the main reasons why IBM took over Red Hat to speed up the many cloud solutions that Provides flexibility to meet hyper-local consumer demand. "The trading segment will be highly beneficial, as it is unlikely to see any competition from the sky king Amazon (AMZN) who does not like retailers.

History must have shot in the arm which is shrinking growth to only 12% for the year 2018, far from Microsoft's (MSFT) Azure's 76% growth rate, which actually represented a slowdown in itself.

According to Synergy Research Group, IBM remains a distant third in the Cloud race behind Amazon and Microsoft, while the Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google Cloud offer is bronze neck and neck.

Microsoft and Amazon together control about 50% of the global cloud market share by the end of 2018 with each increasing market share in the end of the year. Meanwhile, IBM's market share dropped slightly and is threatened by the rising Alibaba (BABA) and Oracle (ORCL) globally for its location.

The acceleration that Red Hat could stoke will be a welcome and could increase the growth prospects of the low PE tech name.

This dissertation was convincing enough for Stifel analyst David Grossman who had a "buy" rating in the store.

"While the risk has been raised considering slower than expected revenue stabilization, we believe the risk rewards remain attractive given very negative market sentiment and more potential catalysts over the next 12 months, which could drive both estimates and higher," he concluded. . "Based on its defensive characteristics, the prospects for continued growth in cognitive / benefits and margins in 2019 and the RHT agreement in the second half of 2019, mean that the narrative must begin to become more positive and allow the population to build a base from current levels. . "

At least, the acquisition opens IBM's corporate face to an ecosystem of developers who are competing in the cloud.

"Another reason why this combination works so well for Red Hat is IBM's long history and dedication and participation in open source communities and focus on developing the ecosystem," Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst told analysts after the takeover announcement. "Together we believe we can be the world's strongest advocate of open source development."

An ecosystem is a well-known word for the developer community, which through its democratic nature has the power to do or break businesses.

Nels Wangensteen, managing partner and portfolio manager at Maytech Global Investments, an investment advisor and asset manager who monitors $ 179.1 million in assets, told Real Money that the popularity of developers is crucial.

"You must think of these companies as ecosystems," he said in an interview after the takeover. "They need a big developer community behind them."

The company's decision to "preserve Red Hat's open source innovation heritage, scale its huge technology portfolio and strengthen its widespread developer community" can prove to be a vital concession for many worried Red Hat employees and keep them aboard to keep the company's cloud ambitions obtainable.

Blockchain Builder

The company's big bet on blockchain could also be a big payout.

"We see a strong pipeline as customers are interested in the benefits of blockchain behind their firewall," said Finance Director Jim Kavanaugh to Tuesday's analysts.

The effort in blockchain specific supply chain solutions recently highlighted by IBM's partnership with Ford (F) to track cobalt sourcing and Walmart to track food supply chain suggests that some of the major retail players And the car space certainly buys into this vision.

The initiation of the blockchain supply chain with Walmart has reduced its pollution time from days to seconds and highlights the value of the technology.

"Walmart has really chained itself to its use of technology," Wong said.

For reference, ReportLinker forecasted the global blockchain market size to grow from $ 1.2 billion in 2018 to $ 23.3 billion in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80.2%.

IBM's focus on retail hunting is also dependent on the forecasts of the report.

"The vertical retail and eCommerce industry is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the blockchain market by vertical in the forecast period," the report says. "Retail and e-commerce organizations make huge investments to improve the customer experience."

Investments are likely to help IBM, which quickly establishes itself as a leader in space.

Bottom Line

IBM still has a long way ahead of it, but the pure quarter is a solid kickoff to the year of a company that has been desperately trying to orient its turnaround history to the new age block, blockchain and AI stories and away from the old picture, it built over 107 years.

"IBM is a cheap stock," Jim Cramer commented on the floor of the NYSE on Wednesday morning. "I like what I see in IBM."

He highlighted the bounceback from the company's bad third quarter and advised investors to take a longer term as the integration of Red Hat evolved.

"Fool me once, fool me Twice you know. The third quarter had some weaknesses in strategic imperatives, but the fourth quarter brought them all back," Cramer says. "They told you: Don't let 90 days be the verdict and they were right. I was very happy with IBM … it shouldn't have been where it was."

Technical analyst Realce Money Bruce Kamich added that stocks could move on from wherever it was in the coming weeks when he advised traders wishing to get involved in buying as stocks could quickly run into $ 150 plus row after the solid win of the day.

Shares remain positive as trading after trading.

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