Judging by the plunge in IBM stock after hours (accounting for a major portion of the Dow Jones Non-industrial Average Index), the CFO can't pay shareholders with hopium and rumors. The reason: while IBM beat EPS modestly with a very adjusted bottom line of $3.99, beating estimates of $3.96, driven mostly by this: "IBM’s tax rate was 16.0 percent, down 8.6 points year over year" (assuming a flat tax rate Y/Y, GAAP EPS would plunge from $3.68 to $3.30), it was revenues - that ongoing 2013 horror story for the "stawk" and economic "recovery" - that was the problem, because instead of printing at $24.74 billion where it was expected, sales missed by a whopping $1 billion, or $23.72 billion. Of note: while America revenues of $10.3 billion dropped just 1%, and Europe was actually up 1%, it was the all important China and Japan, i.e. Asia-Pacific, where revenues cratered by an unprecedented 15%! So much for both Abenomics and the Chinese "recovery." And what's worse, the Emerging Market callamity of Q3 finally took a big bite: "Revenues in the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — were down 15 percent." Time to push the global recovery myth to the 4th half of 2013 (the third half is where the government shutdown will be squeezed).
Some more disappointments:
- Non-GAAP gross profit margin of 49.1% missed expectations of 49.4%
- Services revenue down 3%
- Systems and Technology revenue down 17%
The good news: the company keeps its guidance...
The company expects full-year 2013 GAAP diluted earnings per share of at least $15.01. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share expectations remain at least $16.25; and at least $16.90, excluding the second-quarter workforce rebalancing charge of $1.0 billion. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings expectations exclude $1.24 per share of charges for amortization of purchased intangible assets, other acquisition-related charges, and retirement-related charges.
... For now.
And so on. At least the company did not blame this latest Q3 earnings fiasco on the Q4 government shutdown or partly-sunny, sometimes overcast weather.
End result: stock plunging after hours to fresh 2 year lows. Maybe Buffett should stick to banks and other crony capitalist government-bailout specials in the future.