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IBM stock on pace for best day since April 2020 as estimates go higher


Cade Metz, Wired’s senior writer, and Arvind Krsa, IBM CEO, and former senior vice president, and director, at IBM Research on June 16, 2016, in New York, spoke on stage.

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IBM shares rose as much as 8% on Wednesday after the hardware, software and consulting provider reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter results, inspiring analysts to raise price targets and estimates.

As central banks seek to reduce inflation through higher interest rates, the 110-year old technology company has been more appealing to investors. It isn’t growing as quickly as its competitors in enterprise software, but it still generates income. Additionally, the company continues to pay out dividends which could be used as an insurance against market volatility.

Executives saidThe company said Tuesday it would cost more to hire talent over the next few months, and that they plan to raise the price for consultation engagements. The company also expects to release a new mainframe machine, which may help with growth. Refinitiv analysts polled now predict IBM will grow by 6% in 2022, an increase of 4% from last year.

In a note to clients, Erik Woodring, a Morgan Stanley analyst, said that “we’re incrementally less constructive” after the two Q’s of consecutive outperformance. It raised its 12-month price target to $157, from $150. The analyst also stated that it expects IBM’s annual revenue growth to be 5% in constant currency by 2022. This is compared to 4% earlier.

Market conditions are volatile and uncertain at the moment. With over half IBM’s revenue recurring, rather than on one-time transactions (which is more than half), it is likely to do better than the other hardware companies Morgan Stanley tracks, Woodring stated. This includes Apple, Dell Technologies, HP Inc. Xerox.

Wamsi Mhan of Bank of America, who has a Buy rating for IBM stock, increased revenue and earnings estimates for 2022-2023, and 2024. They wrote that the Mainframe cycle’s benefits are still to be realized in 2022/2023. “We view the portfolio in defensive mode (outperforms even in difficult macro environments) and anticipate sustained revenue growth well beyond 2022.”

Sami Badri of Credit Suisse and George Engroff from Credit Suisse, both rate IBM stock as buys, raised their expectations for next year and increased the target price on IBM stock by 1 to $166.

After the report, not everyone felt better about IBM. Toni Sacconaghi, Jr., from Bernstein Research, who has the equivalent to a Hold Rating on IBM Stock, noted in a note, that although IBM increased its full-year expectation “modestly”, margins were smaller than expected and any rise higher could be temporary, since 2023 will prove more challenging for the company.

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