IBMInternational Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced first-quarter 2016 earnings results.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made helping our clients apply new cognitive solutions and hybrid cloud platforms,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. “IBM has established itself as the industry leader in total cloud, analytics and cognitive, all of which helped drive our strategic imperatives revenue growth at a strong double-digit rate, substantially faster than the market.”

          FIRST – QUARTER 2016
                      Gross Profit
          Diluted EPS     Net Income     Margin
Operating (Non-GAAP)         $2.35     $2.3B     47.5%
Year/Year         -19%     -21%     -1.8Pts
GAAP from Continuing Operations         $2.09     $2.0B     46.5%
Year/Year         -14%     -17%     -1.8Pts
REVENUE         Total IBM     Imperatives     Cloud
As reported (US$)         $18.7B     $7.0B     $2.6B
Year/Year         -5%     14%     34%
Year/Year adjusting for currency         -2%     17%     36%

“In the first quarter, we invested $3.6 billion in acquisitions and capital expenditures, and returned $2.2 billion to shareholders through dividends and gross share repurchases,” said Martin Schroeter, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer. “We will continue to invest as we transform our operations, expanding our industry expertise and our cognitive and cloud capabilities.”

Strategic Imperatives

First-quarter revenues from the company’s strategic imperatives — cloud, analytics and engagement — increased 14 percent year to year (up 17 percent adjusting for currency). Total cloud revenues (public, private and hybrid) for the quarter increased 34 percent (up 36 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue over the trailing 12 months was $10.8 billion. The annual exit run rate for cloud delivered as a service — a subset of the total cloud revenue — increased to $5.4 billion from $3.8 billion in the first quarter of 2015. Revenues from analytics increased 7 percent (up 9 percent adjusting for currency). Revenues from mobile increased 88 percent (up 93 percent adjusting for currency) and from security increased 18 percent (up 20 percent adjusting for currency).

Full-Year 2016 Expectations

IBM continues to expect full-year 2016 operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share of at least $13.50. The company expects GAAP diluted earnings per share of at least $12.35. The 2016 operating (non-GAAP) earnings expectation excludes $1.15 per share of charges for amortization of purchased intangible assets, other acquisition-related charges and retirement-related charges.

IBM had previously expected a free cash flow realization of GAAP net income which implied a full-year free cash flow range of $11 billion to $12 billion. The company now expects free cash flow to be at the high end of that range at the same base level of operating (non-GAAP) EPS.

Pre-Tax Income and Tax Rate

The decrease in the company’s pre-tax income was primarily the result of increased expenses for workforce transformation, real estate actions, and actions in Latin America, which totaled nearly $1.5 billion.

IBM’s tax rate for the first quarter includes a $1.0 billion refund of previously paid non-U.S. taxes, plus interest, for a total benefit of $1.2 billion. This is the result of a long-standing tax matter which was resolved in the company’s favor in February and was disclosed in the 2015 IBM Annual Report. The impact of the tax refund on the company’s first-quarter net income was largely equivalent on an after-tax basis to the expenses for workforce transformation, real estate actions, and actions in Latin America.

Cash Flow and Balance Sheet

The company generated free cash flow of $2.3 billion in the first quarter, excluding Global Financing receivables, up $1.2 billion year to year. IBM returned $1.2 billion in dividends and $0.9 billion of gross share repurchases to shareholders. At the end of March 2016, IBM had $4.7 billion remaining in the current share repurchase authorization.

IBM ended the first-quarter 2016 with $14.9 billion of cash on hand, an increase of $6.7 billion since year-end 2015. Debt, including Global Financing debt of $26.8 billion, totaled $45.6 billion, compared with $39.9 billion at year-end 2015. Core (non-global financing) debt totaled $18.8 billion, an increase of $6.1 billion since year-end 2015. The balance sheet remains strong and is well positioned to support the business over the long term.

Segment Results

As announced in February during the company’s Investor Briefing, IBM has revised its financial reporting structure to reflect the transformation of the business and provide investors with increased visibility into the company’s operating model by disclosing additional information on its strategic imperatives revenue by segment. Beginning with the first-quarter 2016, IBM’s business segments and results are:

  • Cognitive Solutions (includes solutions software and transaction processing software) — revenues of $4.0 billion, down 1.7 percent, up 0.4 percent adjusting for currency. Solutions software grew, led by security and analytics solutions, including strong growth in the Watson businesses.
  • Global Business Services (includes consulting, global process services, application management) — revenues of $4.1 billion, down 4.3 percent, down 2.3 percent adjusting for currency. Strategic imperatives revenue within the segment was up 19 percent (up 22 percent adjusting for currency) and generated nearly one-half of segment revenue.
  • Technology Services and Cloud Platforms (includes infrastructure services, technical support services, integration software) — revenues of $8.4 billion, down 1.5 percent, up 1.9 percent adjusting for currency. Growth of 41 percent (45 percent adjusting for currency) in strategic imperatives revenue within the segment was driven by hybrid cloud infrastructure engagements.
  • Systems (includes systems hardware and operating systems software) — revenues of $1.7 billion, down 21.8 percent, down 20.6 percent adjusting for currency. Revenue reflects z Systems product cycle dynamics; segment gross profit margins increased.
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) — revenues of $410 million, down 11.2 percent, down 6.4 percent adjusting for currency. (Original Source)

Shares of IBM are down 5% to $145 in after-market trading. IBM has a 1-year high of $176.30 and a 1-year low of $116.90. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $145.70 and its 200-day moving average is $137.19.

On the ratings front, IBM has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Joseph Foresi reiterated a Hold rating on IBM, with a price target of $122, which represents a potential downside of 20.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on April 14, Stifel Nicolaus’ David Grossman reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $165.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joseph Foresi and David Grossman have a total average return of 9.9% and 15.9% respectively. Foresi has a success rate of 93.5% and is ranked #483 out of 3795 analysts, while Grossman has a success rate of 69.1% and is ranked #205.

Overall, 3 research analysts have rated the stock with a Sell rating, 9 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 3 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $139.36 which is -8.6% under where the stock opened today.