After the closing bell Monday afternoon, tech giant International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) again posted a mixed earnings report: earnings per share (EPS) of $2.91 easily beat the Zacks consensus estimate, whereas revenues for Q1 of $19.59 billion was roughly in-line with expectations. IBM was the biggest performer in the Dow 30 during regular trading hours, and caught a big tailwind in the after-market, when shares initially spiked even further before tapering off.
Revenues for IBM had been down for 11 straight quarters, and Monday’s post on the top line is down 12 percent year over year, but investors initially appeared to be reacting favorably to gains in margins for the quarter. Adjusting for foreign exchange headwinds — which IBM warned investors about during the company’s Q4 conference call — IBM’s cloud revenues were still up 75 percent from the year-ago quarter. Software revenue fell 8 percent year over year, IBM sold off its low-end server business Lenovo back in Q4 for $2.1 billion, and has since developed partnerships with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), among others, to integrate its cloud-based solutions with various software offerings. IBM also plans on investing north of $3 billion into its Internet of Things projects in the near future.
All of which is to say the transition of IBM’s business continues to progress, albeit slowly. As its hardware businesses continue to shrink, IBM makes further inroads with its cloud platform. Analysts had offered up slightly mixed earnings revisions over the past 60 days with a bias toward the downside. But IBM also buys back shares of stock with regularity and rarely post an earnings miss.
Network security solutions provider Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT) posted an earnings beat of $0.01 a share ($0.00 was expected, accounting for stock-based compensation and other before-non-recurring items) on revenues of $1212.9 million, which handily beat the Zacks consensus of $204 million for the March quarter. Fortinet is enjoying an after-hours pop of 4.7 percent following the announcement, and shares of the growing cybersecurity firm have climbed more than 60 percent in the past year.