IBM's stock has hit a 5-year low


IBM Ginni Rometty


IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

After reporting 2015 earnings on Tuesday that beat the street but disappointed investors with a gloomy outlook, IBM shares are still taking a beating.


They are down about 6% on Wednesday.

At about $120, shares are at the lowest they've been for 5 years (except for a brief dip to $118 first thing this morning).

That's a low that hearkens back to October 2009, when IBM was crawling out of the post-2008 economic collapse.

Investors are put off by IBM's forecasted 2016 adjusted earnings per share of "at least" $13.50 - far below what the street was expecting to hear of about $15 per share.


And that's also far below the abandoned one-time goal of of $20 EPS by 2015. That goal was once called "Roadmap 2015" and IBM CEO Ginny Rometty officially ditched the plan in the third quarter of 2014 to concentrate on investing in new growth areas.

She's acquired nearly 40 companies during her three years at IBM to boost what she calls "strategic initiatives." These are the hot areas of cloud computing, analytics, mobile, social and security.

Those businesses are indeed growing. They generated $29 billion in 2015, and now represent 35 percent of IBM's total revenue, the company said.

But IBM's traditional businesses are shrinking faster than the new business can make up for, as IBM's customers shift away from buying hardware, software, and services - the old way of doing IT - and turn more to renting software and hardware via cloud computing.

IBM's total 2015 revenue was $81.7 billion, down nearly 12% form 2014's $92.8 billion, which includes a hit from foreign exchange and from the businesses IBM sold last year. Quarterly revenue has declined from the previous year for nearly every quarter in the last four years.


Many analysts are concerned that IBM has not yet hit rock bottom yet as it turns itself around. At least eight of them cut their price targets on the stock.

IBM shares 5 year

IBM shares 5 year

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