IBM Reports 2019 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

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Revenue Growth Driven by Accelerated Cloud Performance; Strong Gross Margin Expansion

Highlights

Fourth Quarter:

  • GAAP EPS from continuing operations of $4.11
  • Operating (non-GAAP) EPS of $4.71
  • Revenue of $21.8 billion, up 0.1 percent

-- up 1 percent adjusting for currency
-- up 3 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency

  • Red Hat revenue, up 24 percent, normalized for historical comparability
  • Revenue growth in Cloud & Cognitive Software and Systems segments

-- Cloud & Cognitive Software up 9 percent
-- Systems up 16 percent

  • Total cloud revenue of $6.8 billion, up 21 percent (up 23 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency)
  • GAAP gross profit margin up 190 basis points; Operating (non-GAAP) gross profit margin up 230 basis points
  • Debt reduced by $10 billion since closing the Red Hat acquisition

Full Year:

  • GAAP EPS from continuing operations of $10.57; Operating (non-GAAP) EPS of $12.81
  • Revenue of $77.1 billion, down 3.1 percent (up 0.2 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency)
  • Total cloud revenue of $21.2 billion, up 11 percent (up 14 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency)
  • Net cash from operating activities of $14.8 billion and free cash flow of $11.9 billion

2020 Expectations:

  • GAAP EPS of at least $10.57; Operating (non-GAAP) EPS of at least $13.35
  • Free cash flow of approximately $12.5 billion


January 21, 2020 04:04 PM Eastern Standard Time

ARMONK, N.Y.--IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 earnings results.

“We ended 2019 on a strong note, returning to overall revenue growth in the quarter, led by accelerated cloud performance," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Looking ahead, this positions us for sustained revenue growth in 2020 as we continue to help our clients shift their mission-critical workloads to the hybrid cloud and scale their efforts to become a cognitive enterprise.”

                                     
   

FOURTH QUARTER 2019

 
   

Results Reflect the Impact of Items Related to

 
   

the Red Hat Acquisition Closed in July 2019

 
                           

Pre-tax

   

Gross

 
   

Diluted

   

Net

   

Pre-tax

   

Income

   

Profit

 
   

EPS

   

Income

   

Income

   

Margin

   

Margin

 

GAAP from Continuing Operations

 

$

4.11

   

$

3.7B

   

$

4.0B

   

18.3

%

 

51.0

%

Year/Year *

   

91

%

   

88

%

   

(10)

%

 

(2.0)

Pts

 

1.9

Pts

                                     

Operating (Non-GAAP)

 

$

4.71

   

$

4.2B

   

$

4.7B

   

21.6

%

 

51.8

%

Year/Year

   

(3)

%

   

(5)

%

   

(7)

%

 

(1.5)

Pts

 

2.3

Pts

* GAAP Diluted EPS and Net Income include charges related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of $1.9 billion in 2018.

“In 2019, we continued to invest in the higher-value growth areas of the industry and took bold actions — including several divestitures and a major acquisition — to position our business, which are reflected in our strong gross margin performance," said James Kavanaugh, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer. "After completing the acquisition of Red Hat, and with strong free cash flow and disciplined financial management, we significantly deleveraged in the second half.”

Cash Flow and Balance Sheet

In the fourth quarter, the company generated net cash from operating activities of $3.5 billion, or $6.7 billion excluding Global Financing receivables. IBM’s free cash flow was $6.0 billion. IBM returned $1.4 billion to shareholders in dividends.

For the full year, the company generated net cash from operating activities of $14.8 billion, or $14.3 billion excluding Global Financing receivables, and full-year free cash flow of $11.9 billion. IBM returned $7.1 billion to shareholders through $5.7 billion in dividends and $1.4 billion of gross share repurchases.

IBM ended the fourth quarter with $9.0 billion of cash on hand which includes marketable securities. Debt, including Global Financing debt of $24.7 billion, totaled $62.9 billion – down $3.4 billion since the end of the third quarter, down $10.1 billion since the end of the second quarter.

Segment Results for Fourth Quarter

  • Cloud & Cognitive Software (includes Cloud & Data Platforms which includes Red Hat; Cognitive Applications; and Transaction Processing Platforms) — revenues of $7.2 billion, up 8.7 percent (up 9.4 percent adjusting for currency), led by cloud, Security, and IoT; Cloud & Data Platforms, up 19 percent (up 20 percent adjusting for currency); Cognitive Applications, up 1 percent; Transaction Processing Platforms, up 3 percent (up 4 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Global Business Services (includes Consulting, Application Management and Global Process Services) — revenues of $4.2 billion, down 0.6 percent (down 0.3 percent adjusting for currency), with growth in Consulting, up 4 percent.
  • Global Technology Services (includes Infrastructure & Cloud Services and Technology Support Services) — revenues of $6.9 billion, down 4.8 percent (down 4.0 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Systems (includes Systems Hardware and Operating Systems Software) — revenues of $3.0 billion, up 16.0 percent (up 16.5 percent adjusting for currency), led by IBM Z, up 62 percent (up 63 percent adjusting for currency); Storage Systems revenue grew 3 percent.
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) — revenues of $301 million, down 25.3 percent (down 24.9 percent adjusting for currency); revenue reflects the wind-down of OEM commercial financing.

Full-Year 2019 Results

Full-year results reflect the impact of items related to the Red Hat acquisition closed in July 2019. Consolidated diluted earnings per share was $10.56 compared to $9.52 for 2018, up 11 percent year to year. Consolidated net income was $9.4 billion, up 8 percent year to year. Revenues for the full year totaled $77.1 billion, a decrease of 3.1 percent year to year (up 0.2 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency) compared with $79.6 billion for the full-year 2018.

Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $12.81 compared with $13.81 per diluted share for the 2018 period, a decrease of 7 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) net income for the full year was $11.4 billion compared with $12.7 billion in the prior-year period, a decrease of 10 percent.

                                     
   

FULL YEAR 2019

 
   

Results Reflect the Impact of Items Related to

 
   

the Red Hat Acquisition Closed in July 2019

 
                           

Pre-tax

   

Gross

 
   

Diluted

   

Net

   

Pre-tax

   

Income

   

Profit

 
   

EPS

   

Income

   

Income

   

Margin

   

Margin

 

GAAP from Continuing Operations

 

$

10.57

   

$

9.4B

   

$

10.2B

   

13.2

%

 

47.3

%

Year/Year *

   

11

%

   

8

%

   

(10)

%

 

(1.1)

Pts

 

0.9

Pts

                                     

Operating (Non-GAAP)

 

$

12.81

   

$

11.4B

   

$

12.5B

   

16.2

%

 

48.0

%

Year/Year

   

(7)

%

   

(10)

%

   

(9)

%

 

(1.1)

Pts

 

1.1

Pts

* GAAP Diluted EPS and Net Income include charges related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 of $2.0 billion in 2018 versus $0.1 billion in 2019.

Full-Year 2020 Expectations

The company expects GAAP diluted earnings per share of at least $10.57, and operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share of at least $13.35. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share excludes $2.78 per share of charges for: amortization of purchased intangible assets and other acquisition-related charges, including pre-closing charges, such as financing costs; retirement-related charges; and tax reform enactment impacts. IBM expects free cash flow of approximately $12.5 billion.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on the company’s current assumptions regarding future business and financial performance. These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to, the following: a downturn in economic environment and client spending budgets; the company’s failure to meet growth and productivity objectives; a failure of the company’s innovation initiatives; damage to the company’s reputation; risks from investing in growth opportunities; failure of the company’s intellectual property portfolio to prevent competitive offerings and the failure of the company to obtain necessary licenses; cybersecurity and data privacy considerations; fluctuations in financial results, impact of local legal, economic, political and health conditions; adverse effects from environmental matters, tax matters and the company’s pension plans; ineffective internal controls; the company’s use of accounting estimates; the company’s ability to attract and retain key employees and its reliance on critical skills; impacts of relationships with critical suppliers; product quality issues; impacts of business with government clients; currency fluctuations and customer financing risks; impact of changes in market liquidity conditions and customer credit risk on receivables; reliance on third party distribution channels and ecosystems; the company’s ability to successfully manage acquisitions, alliances and dispositions, including integration challenges, failure to achieve objectives, the assumption of liabilities, and higher debt levels; legal proceedings and investigatory risks; risk factors related to IBM securities; and other risks, uncertainties and factors discussed in the company’s Form 10‑Qs, Form 10‑K and in the company’s other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or in materials incorporated therein by reference. Any forward-looking statement in this release speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Except as required by law, the company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Presentation of Information in this Press Release

In an effort to provide investors with additional information regarding the company’s results as determined by generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the company has also disclosed in this press release the following non-GAAP information, which management believes provides useful information to investors:

IBM results —

  • adjusting for currency (i.e., at constant currency);
  • total revenue and cloud revenue adjusting for divested businesses and currency;
  • revenue for Red Hat normalized for historical comparability;
  • presenting operating (non-GAAP) earnings per share amounts and related income statement items;
  • adjusting for free cash flow;
  • net cash from operating activities, excluding Global Financing receivables.

Free cash flow guidance is derived using an estimate of profit, working capital and operational cash outflows. The company views Global Financing receivables as a profit-generating investment, which it seeks to maximize and therefore it is not considered when formulating guidance for free cash flow. As a result, the company does not estimate a GAAP Net Cash from Operations expectation metric.

The rationale for management’s use of these non-GAAP measures is included in Exhibit 99.2 in the Form 8‑K that includes this press release and is being submitted today to the SEC.

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