IBM reports third straight quarter of revenue declines

Tech

Wired senior staff writer Cade Metz and Arvind Krishna, then senior vice president and director at IBM Research, speak onstage at the Wired Business Conference in New York on June 16, 2016.

Brian Ach | Wired | Getty Images

Shares of IBM fell slightly in extended trading on Monday after the company released third-quarter earnings that were in line with what analysts had expected.

Here’s how the company did:

  • Earnings: $2.58 per share, adjusted, vs. $2.58 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $17.56 billion, vs. $17.54 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue declined 2.5%, falling for the third consecutive quarter on an annualized basis, according to a statement. The pattern of declining revenue playing out under new CEO Arvind Krishna was often present during the tenure of his predecessor, Ginni Rometty. The coronavirus pandemic has challenged IBM, among other companies, in part because of exposure to industries such as retail and transportation that the pandemic interrupted.

Krishna announced a major change on Oct. 8, saying that the managed infrastructure services portion of IBM’s Global Technology Services unit would become a standalone public company. At that time IBM issued preliminary results, saying it expected $2.58 in adjusted earnings per share on $17.6 billion in revenue. During a conference call with analysts on the day of the announcement Krishna called said IBM expects to reach “sustainable mid-single digit revenue growth over the medium term.”

In the third quarter the Global Technology Services segment, IBM’s largest, contributed $6.46 billion in revenue. That’s down 4% year over year and higher than the FactSet consensus estimate of $6.25 billion.

Cloud and Cognitive Software, which includes Red Hat, delivered $5.55 billion in revenue, which is up 7% and above the $5.48 billion FactSet consensus.

Revenue from Global Business Services totaled $3.97 billion, down 5% and more than the $3.90 billion consensus. Systems revenue was $1.26 billion, down 15% and below the $1.55 billion consensus.

The company’s free cash flow was $1.10 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $2.26 billion and the lowest since the first quarter of 2001, according to FactSet.

IBM pulled its full-year guidance in April. The company did not issue new guidance in Monday’s earnings statement.

In the third quarter IBM announced the acquisition of WDG Automation, a Brazilian software company.

Not withstanding Monday’s after-hours move, IBM shares are down 6% since the start of 2020. The S&P 500 index is up about 6% over the same period.

Executives will discuss the results with analysts on a conference call starting at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

WATCH: Full interview with IBM CEO Arvind Krishna and Executive Chair Ginni Rometty

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