IBM (IBM) is scheduled to report results of its fiscal fourth quarter after the market close on January 21, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. What to watch for:
1. GARY COHN: Earlier this month, IBM announced the appointment of Gary Cohn as Vice Chairman of IBM and member of the IBM Executive Leadership Team. Cohn served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 until April 2018. Before serving in the White House, Cohn was President and COO of Goldman Sachs (GS) from 2006-2016, and previously held a number of other leadership positions during 26 years with the company.
2. SALES RESTRUCTURING: A day later, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was restructuring its sales organization and streamlining how it classifies customers. Under the new sales structure, the number of customer groups has been cut to two from 50, changes intended to better support the company's effort to capitalize on hybrid cloud computing and make it easier to do business with the company, according to the Journal.
3. M&A: IBM was highly active in terms of mergers and acquisitions over the past quarter, starting in mid-November when the company said it agreed to acquire TruQua Enterprises, an IT services and consulting SAP development partner that specializes in delivering finance and analytics solutions to Fortune 500 companies. Terms of that deal were not disclosed. IBM also announced in November a definitive pact to acquire Instana, an application performance monitoring and observability company. Terms were also not disclosed for this deal. A month later, IBM agreed to acquire cloud implementation and managed services company Nordcloud, and last week IBM agreed to acquire Taos, a cloud professional and managed services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed for either transaction. Meanwhile, IBM subsidiary Red Hat announced earlier this month its intent to acquire Kubernetes-native security company StackRox.
4. EUROPE JOB CUTS: In late November, Bloomberg reported that IBM was planning to eliminate roughly 10,000 positions in Europe as it looks to reduce costs at its slow-growth services division and ready the business for a spinoff. The cuts will impact approximately 20% of the staff and the region, with the UK and Germany set to be most affected and lesser cuts in Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Belgium.
Keywords: fly intel, earnings, ibm, gary cohn, m&a