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IBM Fundamental Analysis January 2024

IBM Fundamental Analysis

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has progressively transformed into a key player in the cloud and data platform sectors. The acquisition of Red Hat has been particularly instrumental in enhancing IBM’s standing in the hybrid cloud market. Through the Red Hat acquisition, IBM now offers the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system and the Red Hat OpenShift hybrid cloud platform, both crucial in aiding enterprises with digital transformation. Furthermore, IBM provides a range of advanced IT solutions, including computer systems, quantum and supercomputing solutions, enterprise software, storage systems, and microelectronics.

Based in Armonk, NY, IBM reported a revenue of $60.5 billion in 2022. The company has also announced the spin-off of its legacy Managed Infrastructure Services business, aiming to boost its hybrid cloud growth strategy. Following the spin-off of Kyndryl, IBM has reorganized its business segments into Software, Consulting, Infrastructure, and Financing.

Software (formerly Cloud & Cognitive Software): This segment includes Hybrid Platform & Solutions, which encompasses software services, Red Hat, automation, data & AI businesses, and Transaction Processing. It contributed to 42.5% of IBM’s GAAP revenues in the third quarter of 2023.

Consulting (formerly Global Business Services): This segment covers Business Transformation, Technology Consulting, and Application Operations. It accounted for 33.6% of IBM’s GAAP revenues in the third quarter of 2023.

Infrastructure (formerly Systems): Comprising Hybrid Infrastructure and Infrastructure Support services, this segment was responsible for 22.2% of the company’s GAAP revenues in the third quarter of 2023.

Financing (formerly Global Financing): This segment offers client and commercial financing services, making up 1.3% of IBM’s GAAP revenues in the third quarter of 2023.






IBM is well-positioned to capitalize on the increasing demand for hybrid cloud and AI solutions, which are anticipated to drive significant growth in its Software and Consulting segments. The company’s future growth is expected to be largely fueled by its focus on analytics, cloud computing, and security. A strategic blend of an improved business mix, gains in operational efficiency through productivity improvements, and heightened investments in growth opportunities are set to enhance IBM’s profitability. The company’s commitment to research and development (R&D), where it annually invests about 7-8% of its revenue, distinguishes IBM from its competitors, particularly in high-growth and high-value areas.

IBM’s acquisition of Apptio Inc., a leading provider of IT financial and operational management and optimization software, for $4.6 billion, has significantly strengthened its IT automation capabilities. This acquisition enables enterprise leaders to create additional value within the technology sphere. Integrating Apptio’s solutions with IBM’s IT automation software and the Watson AI platform will allow organizations globally to better manage and optimize their IT spending, leading to substantial financial and operational enhancements. This collaboration creates a holistic technology business management platform, effectively acting as a centralized hub for managing and optimizing technology expenditures. Moreover, Apptio’s extensive IT spend data, totaling $450 billion, is poised to provide invaluable insights to IBM’s clients and partners.

This strategic move aligns with IBM’s continued focus on hybrid cloud and AI. It is poised to create substantial synergies in key growth areas such as automation, Red Hat, IBM’s AI suite, and IBM Consulting. Additionally, Apptio is set to benefit from IBM’s vast global reach and well-established relationships with leading systems integrators.

IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat has significantly enhanced its Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative, marking the company’s largest acquisition to date. This strategic move has transformed the landscape of the cloud market for businesses, positioning IBM to potentially become the leading provider of hybrid cloud platforms globally. The company expects that the integration of Red Hat will boost its revenue growth by approximately two points CAGR over five years. The IBM Cloud is central to regaining investor confidence in the company’s business model. Already, over 4,000 clients are leveraging the combined strengths of Red Hat and IBM’s hybrid cloud platform.

The use of IBM and Red Hat’s hybrid cloud services is gaining traction among notable clients, including American Express, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Banco Sabadell, Broadridge Financial Solutions, and Caixa Bank. This growing adoption underscores our optimistic outlook on the utility of hybrid cloud services developed by IBM and Red Hat. Additionally, Red Hat’s expanding presence in the Asia Pacific region is expected to further enhance IBM’s total addressable market (TAM).

In a strategic move to focus more intensely on its hybrid cloud growth strategy and digital transformation facilitation for clients, IBM has divested its legacy Managed Infrastructure Services business. Following this separation, which resulted in the creation of Kyndryl, IBM has also restructured its business segments to align better with its future direction and growth objectives.

IBM has been actively returning cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases. It has a dividend payout rate of 73.9 and strong free cash flow generation.

IBM is heavily investing in the Watsonx platform, which is poised to become a central pillar of its AI offerings. Watsonx is designed to bring the advantages of foundational models to businesses, boosting their productivity. This advanced AI and data platform is made up of three main components: the watsonx.ai studio, which focuses on new foundation models, generative AI, and machine learning; the watsonx.data, a specialized data store based on open lake house architecture; and the watsonx.governance toolkit, aimed at fostering responsible and transparent AI workflows. The first two components are already available in the market, with the third expected to be released next year.

Further strengthening its capabilities, IBM has recently reached a definitive agreement to acquire the iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service) operations of Software AG, namely StreamSets and webMethods. These businesses are recognized leaders in data integration, API management, and application integration. With this acquisition, IBM intends to enhance the data ingestion features of watsonx and establish a leading application and data integration platform in the industry. This merger will significantly boost the global presence of StreamSets and webMethods, elevating their brand visibility and business opportunities.

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