) to strong buy from buy.
Analyst George Elling says his upgrade is based on several reasons including valuation, business model, strategic positioning and IBM's market leadership. While first quarter results were disappointing relative to earlier expectations, he thinks IBM is positioned well strategically, has a strong annuity portfolio of businesses, and has a solid services backlog of $108 billion, paving the way for favorable growth later in 2002.
Elling sees $4.20 2002 EPS, and $4.90 for 2003. He notes the stock is down about 30% since teh beginning of the year, and thinks shares now represent excellent risk/reward.