Zacks Investment Research Upgrades IBM (IBM) to “Hold”

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IBM (NYSE:IBM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “IBM is benefiting from operating efficiency, cost cutting and lower share count. Moreover, the company’s improving position in the hosted cloud, security, blockchain and analytics bodes well. IBM is witnessing growth in industry verticals like health, retail and banking. Solid adoption of Watson Health and broad-based growth in Payer, Provider, Imaging and Life Sciences domains is notable. However, stiff competition does not bode well for Storage hardware segment. Additionally, IBM’s ongoing business model transition to cloud is time-consuming, which is likely to be a headwind. Further, ballooning debt levels have been troubling IBM lately. Notably, shares of IBM have underperformed the industry in the past one year.”

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on IBM. ValuEngine downgraded shares of IBM from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday. UBS Group set a $160.00 price target on shares of IBM and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Wedbush reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $131.00 price target on shares of IBM in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of IBM to $147.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of IBM in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $155.72.

Shares of IBM stock opened at $139.91 on Monday. IBM has a one year low of $105.94 and a one year high of $154.36. The stock has a market cap of $124.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.13, a PEG ratio of 2.55 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.36, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.61.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 16th. The technology company reported $2.25 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.22 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $18.18 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.53 billion. IBM had a net margin of 10.98% and a return on equity of 68.76%. IBM’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.45 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that IBM will post 13.89 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Diane J. Gherson sold 1,989 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.25, for a total value of $272,990.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Diane J. Gherson sold 5,754 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.67, for a total transaction of $780,645.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 23,117 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,136,283.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 20,867 shares of company stock worth $2,877,569 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Swedbank raised its stake in IBM by 3.2% during the 4th quarter. Swedbank now owns 1,159,250 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $131,030,000 after acquiring an additional 35,526 shares during the period. MUFG Securities EMEA plc grew its holdings in IBM by 44.8% during the 4th quarter. MUFG Securities EMEA plc now owns 216,780 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $24,641,000 after buying an additional 67,055 shares in the last quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH grew its holdings in IBM by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 184,274 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $20,946,000 after buying an additional 2,403 shares in the last quarter. Accident Compensation Corp grew its holdings in IBM by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. Accident Compensation Corp now owns 52,981 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $6,022,000 after buying an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DAVENPORT & Co LLC grew its holdings in IBM by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. DAVENPORT & Co LLC now owns 52,049 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $7,344,000 after buying an additional 1,441 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 55.58% of the company’s stock.

IBM Company Profile

International Business Machines Corporation operates as an integrated technology and services company worldwide. Its Cognitive Solutions segment offers a portfolio of enterprise artificial intelligence platforms, such as analytics and data management platforms, cloud data services, talent management, and industry solutions primarily under the Watson Platform, Watson Health, and Watson Internet of Things names.

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