IBM managed to best market expectations in the second quarter, but its shares have traded down since it released the details of its second quarter’s financial results, which included revenue of $24.36 billion, and non-GAAP earnings per share of $4.32. On a GAAP basis, IBM earned $4.12 per share.
Analysts had IBM to report non-GAAP earnings per share of $4.29, on revenue of $24.13 billion.
Its revenue tally was down 2 percent year-over-year. IBM touts in its release that its cloud top line has grown “more than” 50 percent in 2014 thus far. The company also notes that “mobile revenue” has expanded “more than” 100 percent in calendar 2014.
However, those incomes are likely minor when compared to its legacy revenue streams, making their impact small. Its Services business saw its revenue slip 1 percent, to $13.9 billion. Software revenue for IBM managed a 1 percent gain, to $6.5 billion.
IBM’s hardware business saw its revenues fall 11 percent on a year-over-year basis, to $3.3 billion.
The company ended the period with total debt of $46.5 billion, up from its second quarter 2013 tally of $39.7 billion. IBM ended the period with $9.7 billion in cash. The company’s half-year operating net income — non-GAAP — is flat compared to the year prior.
Why is IBM down when it managed to beat expectations? It could be that its reiterated target for $18 per share in 2014 non-GAAP EPS wasn’t what investors were hoping for. In a period of low growth, reaffirming past targets doesn’t inspire confidence. Potentially also at issue is IBM’s declining revenue in what it calls “growth markets” and the BRIC countries — down, 7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
IBM CEO Virginia M. Rometty had normally positive words for the quarter: “In the second quarter, we made further progress on our transformation. We performed well in our strategic imperatives around cloud, big data and analytics, security and mobile.” Investors are less impressed.
Two days ago IBM announced a far-reaching deal with Apple that will see the two companies pair up to take on the enterprise market. IBM was rewarded with a moderate bounce following the news. It could be that any reaction to its somewhat positive earnings was already priced into its shares.