IBM beats earnings but investors yawn


Ginni Rometty IBM


IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM just reported its fourth quarter earnings for 2015.


It's a beat across the board, but IBM shares are trading roughly flat in after hours.

Here are the most important numbers:

EPS (Operating, non-GAAP): $4.84 a share vs $4.81 a share expected

Revenue: $22.06 bln vs $22.04 bln expected


IBM has reported declining year-over-year revenue for the last 15 quarters in a row.

The adjusted EPS was down 17% from the same period of last year. Part of the EPS growth had to do with a lowered tax rate, which went down 7.1 percentage points to 14.7%, compared to the year-ago period.

For the full year 2015, IBM reported $81.7 billion in revenue, right in-line with expectations

Full year non-GAAP operating EPS was $14.92 per share, which was within the guidance range it provided last quarter, but slightly lower than the $14.93 per share the street was expecting.

That's already a big cut from the $20 EPS goal IBM had planned to reach by 2015. IBM CEO Ginny Rometty officially abandoned the plan called "Roadmap 2015" in the third quarter of 2014.


Instead, Rometty has acquired nearly 40 companies during her three years at IBM in order to nurture growth. IBM has been shifting its investment to what it calls "strategic imperatives," including growth areas like cloud computing, big data, and mobile apps.

In fact, IBM said that its strategic imperatives business has grown 26% from last year, to $29 billion, which represents 35% of the company's total revenue.

"We continue to make significant progress in our transformation to higher value," Rometty said in a statement.

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