IBM Earnings Beat the Street for the Fourth Quarter
IBM posted non-GAAP per share earnings of $5.02 in comparison to estimates by analysts of $4.89. Revenue during the quarter ended at $21.77 billion, which was up from Wall Street expectations of just over $21.66 billion.
Due to its strong earnings for the quarter, IBM also beat estimates for the full year posting per share earnings of $13.59.
IBM stock moved up over $4 during afterhours trading just minutes after the financials were disclosed. However, by 4:30 p.m. ET the sellers appeared and the stock dropped by $4.08 in the next 15 minutes.
In a prepared statement about company earnings, CEO and chairperson Ginni Rometty claimed the results of the last year had established IBM as the leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company in the industry.
She credited IBM Blockchain and IBM Watson as two areas that produced growth. She added that more and more of IBM’s clients choose the IBM Cloud due to its differentiated capabilities that are helping transform industries like airlines, retail and financial services.
In the set of businesses that center around the cloud, analytics and mobile that IBM calls strategic imperatives, the company saw revenue increase by over 13% to just over $32.8 billion. Cloud revenue grew on its own by 35% to more than $13.7 billion.
The company raised its earnings forecast for the full-year slightly for non-GAAP 2017 EPS to a minimum of $13.80.
Segment results at IBM were equal to what analysts were expecting in the Cognitive Solutions group. Those grew by 1.4%, as an expected increase for the IBM Watson segment brought in more recurring revenue from scale.
The consulting business of IBM known as Global Business Services had revenue of $4.1 billion, which was 4.1% less that the same period last year but on par with estimates.
Infrastructure services were up modestly at 1.7% while its Systems group dropped by 12.5% ending the quarter at just over $2.5 billion.
During a conversation with analysts following the earnings posting, CFO of IBM Martin Schroeter said IBM reached an inflection point for margin during 2016. He also said that IBM should grow revenue in strategic imperatives by between 10% and 11% and that IBM would hit revenue of $40 billion starting in 2018.