IBM may be one of the most iconic American technology companies, but Wall Street no longer views Big Blue as an innovator in a tech landscape dominated by the likes of Amazon, Apple and Google owner Alphabet.
Shares of IBM (IBM) have fallen 12% in the past five years, as stocks of software giants like Microsoft (MSFT) and Salesforce (CRM) have each soared more than 200%.
Even Warren Buffett gave up on IBM, despite its dirt-cheap valuation and gigantic dividend. His Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) bought a stake in IBM in 2011 and sold it in 2018 at a loss. Apple (AAPL) is now the Oracle of Omaha’s preferred tech stock, and Berkshire owns nearly 249 million shares of Apple, a 5.6% stake in the company.
IBM’s underperformance is particularly frustrating since the company has a growing presence in cloud computing, thanks largely due to its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat in 2018.
There has even been chatter over the past few years about the possibility of some activist investors looking to buy a stake in IBM in order to shake things up at the company.
Does a New vision need at Big Blue?
IBM had no comment about activist investor speculation.
But the company pointed out in an email to CNN Business that “companies across industries trust IBM to help them with their journey to the cloud” and added that the company has emerged as a leader in blockchain technology, the decentralized ledger of transactions that is the backbone for bitcoin and other digital payments.
IBM, which will report its fourth-quarter and full-year results after the closing bell Tuesday is likely to be asked about its cloud progress during a conference call with analysts.
Spain’s Banco de Sabadell, S.A. announced on Wednesday it hired American computer company IBM for upgrading its IT systems over the next decade in an investment worth €1 billion.
Sabadell’s Operations Director Miguel Montes stated that the bank wants to make its technology systems more reliable, faster and efficient to be able to handle all data which comes from client’s mobile phones, including growing online transactions.
Last year, IBM and Bank of America started a partnership in making a public-cloud computing service for financial institutions that were hesitating to keep their customers’ financial data outside their in-house systems.
IBM has seen a 114% increase in its patent registrations in Brazil with 94 new inventions cataloged in 2019 despite local difficulties around the analysis and granting of patents in the country.
In 2018, the company registered 56 patents in 2018 and in 2017, 44 inventions were registered by the company’s Brazilian research team. The patents include inventions in areas such as weather forecasting. In Latin America, some 132 patents were filed in total last year, according to the company.
The complexity of patent registration is often cited as one of the main obstacles to innovation in Brazil. According to the 2019 edition of the Global Innovation Index by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in partnership with business school Insead and Cornell University, Brazil ranks 66th on a list of 129 countries, behind all the BRIC nations and down two positions from 2018.
IBM Long (Buy)
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