IBM Shares Fall 5% as President Steps Down


Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) suffered a blow when Mr. James M. Whitehurst announced his departure from the President’s post. Shares of the information technology and consulting giant fell 4.6% to close at $140.02 on July 2.

IBM acquired Red Hat Inc., a cloud software provider, for $34 billion in 2019. Whitehurst was the former CEO of Red Hat and was appointed President last year. (See IBM stock chart on TipRanks)

Whitehurst will continue to serve as Senior Advisor to IBM, supporting its hybrid cloud and AI strategy.

The news comes in as IBM announced a series of changes to its top management.

CEO Arvind Krishna, who took the helm last year, said, “As the world begins to reopen, IBM has a unique opportunity to be positioned for a new and exciting era of growth, continue to accelerate the rate and pace of execution of our strategy, and strengthen our client-centric culture and our ability to provide technical expertise.”

IBM is scheduled to report its Q2 earnings on July 19. As per Earnings Whispers, the consensus earnings per share and revenue are pegged at $2.25 and $18.29 billion, respectively.

Last month, BofA Securities analyst Wamsi Mohan reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $175, implying 25% upside potential to current levels. Mohan expects IBM to report earnings of $1.07.

IBM has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 4 Buys, 3 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average International Business Machines price target of $151.75 implies 8.4% upside potential to current levels. Shares have gained 16.5% over the past year.

TipRanks data shows that financial blogger opinions are 86% Bullish on IBM, compared to a sector average of 69%.

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