Willing Shills Can’t Hide The Uglies—- IBM Earnings Down 13.5%, Sales Lower For 16th Straight Quarter


Today IBM reported that its sales were down yet again.

However, in the battle for positive reporting, Bloomberg reports IBM Earnings Beat Estimates as Currency Counters Sales Decline.

Curiously, when I click on that link, I see this headline: “IBM Earnings Show It’s Still Struggling With New Product Growth

IBM reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, though a first-time breakdown of sales of newer offerings showed that growth in those areas still isn’t increasing fast enough to make up for a long decline in traditional products.

Adjusted earnings, excluding some items, fell 19 percent from a year earlier to $2.35 a share, International Business Machines Corp. said in a statement Monday. Analysts estimated $2.09 on average. Sales fell 4.6 percent, dropping for the 16th consecutive quarter, to $18.7 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $18.2 billion. Currency dragged on revenue by less than three percentage points, while the Armonk, New York-based company had previously forecast a three to four percentage point impact.

IBM received a tax refund in the first quarter of more than $1 billion, which Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter had said was already factored into the full-year earnings forecast of at least $13.50 a share.

The tax benefit will be fully absorbed by costs incurred due to job cuts.

Four Year Turn Around

The Wall Street Journal reports IBM Profit Falls as Revenue Declines Again.

Instead of changing the title as Bloomberg did, the Journal simply offered this subtitle: “Still, adjusted per-share profit rises above analysts’ expectations“.

International Business Machines Corp. ’s Virginia Rometty is still looking for a sales turnaround more than four years into her tenure as chief executive.

The Armonk, N.Y., company on Monday reported first-quarter revenue of $18.68 billion, down 4.6% as the company’s products have become increasingly under threat by the move to computing services delivered over the Internet. The company has now posted revenue declines for four years straight.

The computing giant said that net income fell 13.5% to $2.01 billion, or $2.09 a share. Excluding charges, profit was $2.35 a share. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings for the March 31-ended quarter, of $2.09 a share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. Revenue came in above Wall Street’s expectation of $18.29 billion.

Beat the Street Shills

It is extremely difficult to not “beat the street” because corporations guide analysts to targets the companies are sure they can beat.

Subtitles by the Wall Street Journal and headline changes by Bloomberg show both are willing shills in the “beat the street” scam.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock