IBM posts 4th quarter and full year 2016 results

From the official press release:

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $12.39, down 9 percent compared to the 2015 period. Net income from continuing operations for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 was $11.9 billion compared with $13.4 billion in the year-ago period, a decrease of 11 percent.

Or, as the register put it, Big Blue’s blues diffuse: IBM’s sales drain now more like a sad trickle:

IBM is touting growth in its cloud and cognitive business units as the enterprise giant wraps up a year of double-digit revenue declines.

Big Blue said that for its fourth quarter of 2016, ended December 31, revenues were nearly flat over the same period last year and net income was up slightly.

There’s no doubt that IBM is still struggling to grow the newer Cognitive and Cloud businesses (up 1.4% and 33% respectively year-on-year in Q4) fast enough to replace the still declining hardware systems and Global Business Services (down 12.1% and 4.1% respectively). Given that there have now been 19 straight quarters of declining revenue, there’s huge and ever-growing pressure on Ginni Rommety and the rest of the leadership team to post a growth quarter early in 2017.

When UBS analyst Steve Milunovich asked Schroeter to put IBM’s turnaround in baseball terms—what inning is IBM in, he asked—Schroeter responded that he didn’t know. Schroeter reiterated the importance of IBM’s strategic imperatives and explained that the company would continue to invest in them.

“I don’t think the transformation of IBM ever ends, quite frankly,” Schroeter said.

On a personal note, I was hoping to compare and contrast IBM’s collaboration solutions revenue with Jive’s upcoming Q4 and 2016 results, but they are now part of the huge Cognitive (Watson) business unit which makes that all but impossible to do.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!

  • Stefan

    … und 100 000 Kunden weniger. (Noteskunden)