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Buffett Set to Take Megamillion-Dollar Beating on IBM Stock

(Getty/Paul Morigi)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 April 2017 08:01 PM

You win some, you lose some – it just matters how much.

Investment guru Warren Buffett reportedly stands to take a megamillion-dollar beating on his holdings of International Business Machines Corp. stock.

IBM's stock has been sliding since it recorded its 20th straight quarterly revenue decline Tuesday afternoon.

With Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway as IBM's largest shareholder, Buffett is poised to lose a breathtaking amount, CNBC reports.

With the loss of about $8.36 a share in trading Wednesday, Buffett's losses are around $650 million. IBM shares closed Wednesday at $161.69, down 4.92 percent.

"That is a paper calculation and could change depending on what Berkshire has done since the last regulatory filing period. However, the losses are still substantial," CNBC explained.

Berkshire Hathaway's 81.2 million shares represent about 8.6 percent of total shares outstanding, according to CapitalIQ.

IBM reported a bigger-than-expected decline in revenue for the first time in five quarters due to weak demand in its IT services business, a sign that the company's turnaround could take longer than expected, Reuters reported.

IBM's revenue of $18.16 billion in the first quarter missed analysts' estimate of $18.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue in the technology services and cloud platforms business dropped 2.5 percent to $8.2 billion. The business accounted for about 45 percent of total revenue.

With demand for its legacy hardware and software businesses stagnating, IBM has been shifting towards cloud-based services, security software, data analytics and artificial intelligence such as its supercomputer Watson, which once defeated human contestants in the quiz show Jeopardy.

These "strategic imperatives", spread across IBM's various businesses, continued to grow in the first quarter, but failed to offset weakness in the company's core operations, especially at the technology services and cloud platforms business.

IBM could not close some large deals in that business, which is its largest, while a couple of large clients took their operations in-house, Chief Financial Officer Martin Schroeter said on a conference call.

As a result, IBM's overall revenue decline increased to 2.8 percent in the first quarter from 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter, and widely missed analysts' expectation of a 1.6 percent drop.

"I think the frustration lies with the overall miss on revenue," Edward Jones analyst Bill Kreher said.

"The Street has given IBM some credit over the last year that the transition is taking shape, so I think that's where the risk lies ... execution needs to be strong."

Despite IBM stock's (NYSE:IBM) dismal performance to boost sales, Buffett is in no mood to sell his firm Berkshire Hathaway's 8.2% stake in IBM.

"IBM continues to be profitable and generate significant cash flows," Berkshire said in a regulatory filing.

"We currently have no intention of disposing of our investment in IBM common stock. We expect that the fair value of our investment in IBM common stock will recover and ultimately exceed our cost."

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You win some, you lose some - it just matters how much. Investment guru Warren Buffett reportedly stands to take a megamillion-dollar beating on his holdings of IBM stock.
Buffett, Megamillion, Dollar, Beating, IBM, Stock
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2017-01-19
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 08:01 PM
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