Tags: IBM | shares | record | software

IBM Shares Climb to Record as Software Strategy Fuels Profit

International Business Machines Corp. shares reached an all-time high Wednesday, valuing the world’s largest provider of computer services at $236.3 billion.

IBM gained 0.7 percent to $212.06 in New York, the highest level on record. Shares of the Armonk, New York-based company have climbed 11 percent this year.

The company has propelled its stock price by boosting earnings per share, divesting underperforming units and moving into higher-margin software businesses such as data analysis. IBM has said it will deliver at least $20 in earnings per share in 2015, compared with $15.25 last year. It also has set aside $50 billion for share repurchases and $20 billion for dividends between the end of 2010 and 2015.

IBM last reached a record closing high of $211 on Oct. 16. After the markets closed that day, IBM reported third-quarter revenue that fell short of analysts’ estimates, causing the shares to slump for the next month.

Even with the recent gains, the shares trade at a 10 percent price-to-earnings discount to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. IBM has a PE ratio of 13.9, compared with 15 for the S&P 500 information-technology index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In the past month, IBM has said its data-analysis business will perform better than expected, adding $20 billion in revenue in 2015. That compares with an earlier goal of $16 billion. The company also said it will double investment in mobile technologies this year.

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International Business Machines Corp. shares reached an all-time high Wednesday, valuing the world's largest provider of computer services at $236.3 billion.
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