Tags: ibm | tech

IBM Shares Top $200 for 1st Time as Tech Stocks Roll

Monday, 05 March 2012 05:57 PM

Shares of International Business Machines Corp. closed above $200 for the first time, driven higher as technology companies seize leadership in the U.S. stock market as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rally enters its fourth year.

IBM rose 0.9 percent Monday, crossing a level never before seen when stock splits are factored in. The Armonk, New York, company has advanced 9.1 percent in 2012, and 140 percent since the bull market for U.S. equities began on March 9, 2009. Computer-related stocks in the S&P 500 have climbed 15 percent since the end of December, the most among 10 industries.

The world’s largest computer-services provider posted a third straight annual gain in 2011 as the S&P 500 stalled after surging 39 percent in 2009 and 2010. The shares have increased 3.8 percent since Feb. 21, when their price-earnings ratio dropped to the lowest level since June versus the valuation for S&P 500 technology companies, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty succeeded Sam Palmisano this year, becoming the first female chief executive officer in the company’s 100-year history. She inherits a five-year plan that includes boosting software to half of IBM’s earnings, with a focus on programs that help businesses analyze and project trends, as well as on cloud computing and emerging markets.

In January, IBM reported revenue of $107 billion for 2011 and earnings of $13.06 a share, and forecast 2012 earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

IBM has the biggest weight in the 30-company Dow Jones Industrial Average, accounting for 12 percent of its value. The Dow slipped 14.76 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,962.81 Monday, while the S&P 500 lost 0.4 percent to 1,364.33.

IBM’s advance came as Apple Inc. sank below a milestone reached last week. The stock dropped 2.2 percent to $533.16 Monday, sending Apple’s market capitalization below $500 billion. The maker of iPhones and iPad tablet computers became only the sixth U.S. company to climb above that threshold, according to data compiled by S&P. The others are Microsoft Corp., General Electric Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp., in chronological order.

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Monday, 05 March 2012 05:57 PM
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