IBM report on Wednesday

IBM will report first-quarter results for 2014 on 16 April after the closing bell in New York. The consensus is for earnings per share of $2.29 and revenue of $22.9 billion.

IBM is trading at $197.03, up 7.3% since it revealed a 5% decline in revenue to $27.7 billion ($28.25 billion expected) for Q4 2013. 

Sales from the so-called BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) dropped 14% on the quarter – China accounts for 5% of IBM’s business. It wasn’t all bad news, as the firm announced an increase in net income of 6% to $6.2 billion; however, this was partially due to a drop in its effective tax rate. CEO Ginni Rometty and her senior team passed on their bonuses for 2013; this could be a sign of belt-tightening.

IBM and its competitors are scrabbling for web-based software products such as cloud computing. If this is the way the industry is going I would place more stock in this side of the business rather than the hardware division, which is in decline.

The stock has support around the $195 mark and it has held up relatively well given the selloff in technology stocks recently. If the results are better than expected, it may head towards the $200 mark.

IBM is available for extended hours trading. Here is a list of US stocks that can also be traded outside New York Stock Exchange trading hours of 2.30pm to 9pm (London time).

IBM Corp chart

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