Did Watson randomly generate IBM’s weather deal?

October 28, 2015

Big Blue’s purchase of the bulk of Weather Co assets carries no clear strategic logic or even a price tag. But it has created a golden opportunity for CEO Ginni Rometty to distract her long-suffering shareholders with a litany of buzzwords and hollow corporate speak.

Request for IBM activism likely falls on deaf ears

April 6, 2015

Some big shareholders are begging for a Big Blue shake-up. They have reason to be dissatisfied – 11 quarters of falling revenue have sent the shares into a slump. Snag is IBM has already exhausted the typical activist playbook of tapping the balance sheet, buybacks and disposals.

IBM turnaround requires atypical activist fix

December 31, 2014

Big Blue’s strategy of cost cuts and debt-fueled buybacks is no longer working – but the tech giant keeps trying. A tarnished balance sheet, lean staffing and a history of disposals rule out typical activist wheezes. Prodding the company to invest in its business could pay off.

IBM bet doesn’t mean Buffett’s tech spots changed

November 14, 2011

The Oracle famously avoids tech stocks but bought a $10.7 bln stake in Big Blue. Once at the cutting edge of supercomputers, IBM just pulled out of a next-generation project. It’s now a predictable, well-branded consulting firm. IBM’s investment profile evolved, not Buffett’s.

Google finds new tech expectations hard to meet

January 20, 2012

The Internet giant’s revenue rocketed 25 pct, but its shares still plunged after hours. Google failed to match Wall Street’s hopes, whereas Microsoft and IBM’s more pedestrian results reassured. In uncertain times, the old guard’s predictability can trump edgier possibilities.

Why is IBM even sponsoring the Masters?

April 5, 2012

Golf and business often mix well. But Augusta National remains an all-boys club. That defies IBM’s diversity aims - very noticeably so given its new CEO, Virginia Rometty. Even if the financial logic for sponsorship wasn’t fuzzy, the tech firm would be better off pulling the plug.

Big Blue’s earnings engine makes sputtering sounds

August 21, 2013

IBM is hell-bent on boosting earnings to $20 a share in 2015. Pressing on the accelerator of job cuts, software M&A and select disposals has worked well to a point. But falling sales point to a hole in the gas tank. And the company’s speedometer may be faulty, anyway.

Lenovo’s M&A spree challenges investors’ faith

January 30, 2014

The Chinese group is buying Google’s Motorola phones just days after picking up IBM’s low-end server unit. The two loss-making divisions will cost up to $5.2 bln. Though there’s some strategic logic, shareholders have few details to help them work out whether the deals stack up.

Tech services deals count on more with less

September 28, 2009

The U.S. computer services industry is back in favor, after a decade of struggling to cut costs and compete with offshore firms from India and elsewhere... But what's driving these deals is not a bet on the improving growth prospects of the services industry. Instead, the buyers value computer services companies more as sales pipelines for their own products.