IBM Q3 Revenue Misses

October 21, 2021

IBM reported third-quarter 2021 earnings results. Earnings came in at $2.52 per share, adjusted with $2.50 per share expected. IBM delivered revenue of $17.62 billion with $17.77 billion expected. Red Hat produced $5.69 billion in revenue, up 2.5% which was less than the consensus of $5.77 billion.

“With the separation of Kyndryl early next month, IBM takes the next step in our evolution as a platform-centric hybrid cloud and AI company," said Arvind Krishna, IBM chairman and chief executive officer. "We continue to make progress in our software and consulting businesses, which represent our higher growth opportunities. With our increased focus and agility to better serve clients, we are confident in achieving our medium-term objectives of mid-single digit revenue growth and strong free cash flow generation.”

“We again had solid cash generation for the quarter and over the last year, while maintaining a strong balance sheet and the liquidity to support our hybrid cloud and AI strategy," said James Kavanaugh, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer. "Our post-separation portfolio mix is shifted toward our growth vectors, with a higher-value recurring revenue stream and strong cash generation, allowing us to continue to invest in the business and provide attractive shareholder returns.”

Cash Flow and Balance Sheet

In the third quarter, the company generated net cash from operating activities of $2.7 billion. IBM’s free cash flow was $0.6 billion, which includes $0.6 billion of cash impacts from the company’s structural actions initiated in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the transaction costs associated with the separation of Kyndryl.  IBM’s adjusted free cash flow, excluding these cash impacts, was $1.2 billion. The company returned $1.5 billion to shareholders in dividends.

Over the last 12 months, the company generated net cash from operating activities of $16.1 billion.  IBM’s free cash flow for the last 12 months was $9.2 billion.  The company’s adjusted free cash flow, excluding cash impacts of $1.8 billion for the structural actions and transaction separation costs, was $11.1 billion.

IBM ended the third quarter with $8.4 billion of cash on hand (includes marketable securities), down $5.9 billion from year-end 2020 reflecting acquisitions of $3.0 billion and debt reduction payments.  Debt, including Global Financing debt of $15.9 billion, totaled $54.5 billion, down $7.0 billion since the end of 2020, and down $18.5 billion since closing the Red Hat acquisition.

Segment Results for Third Quarter

  • Cloud & Cognitive Software (includes Cloud & Data Platforms, Cognitive Applications and Transaction Processing Platforms) — revenues of $5.7 billion, up 2.5 percent (up 1.9 percent adjusting for currency).  Cloud & Data Platforms grew 10 percent (up 9 percent adjusting for currency), Cognitive Applications revenue was flat (down 1 percent adjusting for currency) and Transaction Processing Platforms declined 9 percent. Cloud revenue up 21 percent (up 20 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Global Business Services (includes Consulting, Application Management and Global Process Services) — revenues of $4.4 billion, up 11.6 percent (up 11.0 percent adjusting for currency), with growth in Consulting, up 17 percent (up 16 percent adjusting for currency), Application Management up 5 percent, and Global Process Services up 19 percent. Cloud revenue up 38 percent (up 37 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Global Technology Services (includes Infrastructure & Cloud Services and Technology Support Services) — revenues of $6.2 billion, down 4.8 percent (down 5.4 percent adjusting for currency). Infrastructure & Cloud Services declined 5 percent (down 6 percent adjusting for currency) and Technology Support Services declined 4 percent (down 5 percent adjusting for currency).  Cloud revenue up 1 percent (flat adjusting for currency).  Gross profit margin up 120 basis points.
  • Systems (includes Systems Hardware and Operating Systems Software) — revenues of $1.1 billion, down 11.9 percent (down 12.4 percent adjusting for currency), driven by declines in IBM Z (down 33 percent) and Power systems down 24 percent (down 25 percent adjusting for currency).  Storage Systems grew 11 percent.  Cloud revenue down 42 percent (down 43 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) — revenues of $220 million, down 19.2 percent (down 19.8 percent adjusting for currency).

Year-To-Date 2021 Results

Revenues for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2021 totaled $54.1 billion, an increase of 1.6 percent year to year (down 1 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency) compared with $53.3 billion for the first nine months of 2020.  Net income was $3.4 billion, down 19 percent year to year, reflecting the impact of $0.7 billion of transaction costs associated with the Kyndryl separation.  Diluted earnings per share was $3.77 compared with $4.72 per diluted share for the 2020 period, a decrease of 20 percent. 

GAAP earnings per share results include a ($2.85) per-share impact for charges related to amortization of purchased intangible assets and other acquisition-related charges, retirement-related charges, U.S. tax reform enactment impacts, and transaction costs associated with the Kyndryl separation.  The impact of the Kyndryl separation costs was ($0.76) per share.

Operating (non-GAAP) net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 was $6.0 billion compared with $5.9 billion in the prior-year period, an increase of 1.3 percent.  Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $6.62 compared with $6.60 per diluted share for the 2020 period, flat year to year.

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