Analyst Andrew McCullough says he is downgrading IBM to neutral from outperform. He says the company posted $22.9 billion in revenue, vs. his $23.4 billion estimate. His 85 cents earnings per share was in line with his recently revised estimate tied to equity compensation expense, but below his former $1.00 estimate.
He says the company tied the miss to a late-quarter slowdown in both services and hardware and softness in four major countries. He had hoped the company could offset cyclical forces with share gains across its business, but first-quarter results suggest his share-gain thesis may not hold true.
McCullough cuts his $5.02 2005 earnings per share estimate to $4.85, his $5.47 2006 earnings per share estimate to $5.20, and his $100 target to $80.