Saturday, April 20, 2013

IBM earnings miss points to poor quarter in hardware sector: analysts

(Reuters) - Three brokerages cut their price targets on IBM Corp shares and warned its weak earnings suggested results would also be disappointing at other hardware technology companies such as EMC Corp, Dell Inc and HP Co.

IBM's shares were set to open 1.5 percent lower on Friday than their Thursday closing price of $207.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.

IBM posted on Thursday a rare quarterly earnings miss as a sliding yen hurt earnings from Japan and it failed to close a number of major deals, especially in Europe and the United States.

"The IBM miss is a decidedly negative read through for the entire IT hardware segment and we are incrementally more cautious on the sector; particularly those with a March quarter end," Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore wrote in a note.

He cut his price target on the stock to $225 from $240.

JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz named NetApp Inc, Lexmark International Inc, Xerox Corp, Brocade Communications Systems Inc, Emulex Corp, QLogic Corp, Seagate Technology PLC and Western Digital Corp as the other hardware names at risk.

EMC and Xerox are scheduled to report results next week, while Dell and HP will report in May.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman said IBM will have to step up its software acquisitions to improve revenue performance and EPS growth.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)


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