IBM Earnings Call Highlights
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Key Takeaways From IBM’s Third-Quarter Earnings Call

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IBM released its third-quarter earnings yesterday after the market closed. The stock was down despite the company's earnings results largely aligning with analysts’ estimates. Here are the key takeaways from IBM’s earnings call.

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IBM Earnings Call Highlights
Source: Pixabay

When did IBM report earnings?

IBM released its third-quarter earnings on Monday, Oct. 19 after the market closed, and held its earnings call at 5:00 p.m. ET. It reported revenue of $17.56 billion in the quarter, which was in line with analysts' $17.54 billion forecast. Its adjusted EPS of $2.58 also met analysts’ expectation.

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IBM's earning report highlights

While other U.S. tech companies are seeing higher revenue as the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up digitization, IBM’s revenue has fallen YoY (year-over-year) for three consecutive quarters. However, its cloud revenue has been rising, and in the third quarter, it rose 19 percent YoY to $6.0 billion. IBM reported that it generated free cash flow of $10.8 billion over the last 12 months, and $1.1 billion in the third quarter. 

Meanwhile, IBM did not provide guidance for the fourth quarter, pointing to “uncertainty.” However, CFO James Kavanaugh said that “from an historical perspective, the fourth quarter seasonally is our strongest quarter in terms of revenue and operating earnings per share due to our high-value software and hardware transactions.”

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Earlier this month, IBM announced the spin-off of its managed infrastructure services business, which could help it focus on its cloud and AI business. Investors have poured money into cloud computing companies, with even Berkshire Hathaway investing in the IPO of cloud-based data storage company Snowflake.

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What is IBM stock price today?

Investors' optimism over a digital future coupled with the unprecedented liquidity unleashed by this year's fiscal and monetary stimulus has catapulted U.S. tech stocks to record highs. However, IBM stock is down 6 percent in 2020. It was trading almost 3 percent lower at $121.89 after the market closed yesterday.

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IBM's dividend

IBM generally pays dividends on the 10th of every March, June, September, and December. So far, it has paid dividends of $4.88 in 2020. By annualizing IBM’s most recent dividend of $1.63 per share, its dividend yield works out to be 5.3 percent—a healthy yield, and more than double the S&P 500’s.

IBM stock forecast

According to CNN, analysts' median price target for IBM is $140, 11.5 percent higher than its current price. Their highest price target is $161, and their lowest price target is $117. Of the 15 polled analysts, four have given it a “buy” rating, while two have rated it as a “sell.” The remaining nine analysts have rated IBM stock as a “hold” or some equivalent.

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