$IBM Q4 Earnings Preview

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Event: IBM reports their Q4 earnings this evening after the close. The options market is implying about a 3.3% move vs the 4 qtr avg move of about 4.15%.  

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By Beth Mellor
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — International Business Machines
scheduled to report 4Q results post-market today.

* 4Q adj. EPS est. $5.25 (range $5.15-$5.32)
* 4Q rev. est. $29.08b (range $28.33b-$29.66b)
* 4Q gross margin est. 51.4% (range 50.8%-51.8%)
* FY2013 adj. EPS est. $16.64 (range $16.21-$17.09)

* 2013 EPS guidance; IBM well-positioned to guide 2013 EPS to  at least $16.50, RBC (sector perform) says; co. also likely to reiterate 2015 EPS view of $20, Sterne Agee (buy) says
* IBM may give “conservative” 2013 EPS guidance of ~$16.65  given ongoing macroeconomics headwinds: Barclays (overweight)
* Server and storage hardware (in particular x86 servers), infrastructure software, services bookings may all have downside risk as deals may have been pushed from 4Q into 1H: Barclays
* In services, IBM may have gained share from Accenture, SAP  and Hewlett-Packard, Sterne Agee says; also expects to see hardware segment recovery driven by Power 7+ processors
* Also watch for commentary on call regarding IBM’s intended pace of software acquisitions in 2013 and plans for Texas  Memory Systems (acquired by IBM in Aug.): Barclays

* IBM has 15 buy ratings, 17 holds, 1 sell, avg. PT $223:
Bloomberg data
* IBM has beaten adj. EPS 8 of last 8 qtrs; sales have missed
5 of last 8 qtrs; shrs have fallen day after 4 of last 8
* IBM down 7.5% since reporting 3Q results Oct. 16 vs SPX up
1.9% over same period

* IBM reported prev. four qtrs 4:03pm-4:11pm
* Call 4:30pm see http://www.ibm.com/investor/events/