IBM (IBM) is scheduled to report results of its fiscal first quarter after the market close on April 19, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. What to watch for:
1. GUIDANCE: Along with its last report, IBM said it expects fiscal 2021 revenue growth to be based on "current spot rates." Analysts expect the company to report FY21 revenue of $74.04B, which would be higher than the company's FY20 revenue of $73.6B.
2. NEWCO: IBM over the past quarter has seen several developments to its "NewCo" unit, or rather the independent company made from the managed infrastrucutre services business of its GTS segment. On its last quarterly call in January, IBM CFO James J. Kavanaugh said that the company was optimizing NewCo to have a "leaner" operating model, adding that the business is positioned for expanding margin and cash generation profile. In addition, NewCo CEO Martin Schroeter said at the time that the unit has "tremendous potential." In early march, IBM announced that Elly Keinan had been named Group President of NewCo, while Maria Bartolome Winans was named the unit's chief marketing officer.
3. M&A: The multinational technology giant was also subject to a number of M&A stories. In mid-February, the Wall Street Journal reported that IBM was exploring a potential sale of its IBM Watson Health business as part of its efforts to focus more on cloud computing. The unit has about $1B in annual revenue, but is currently not profitable, the report said at the time, adding that it is "not clear" what the deal value would be. Two months later, IBM announced an agreement to acquire myInvenio, a process mining software company based in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The acquisition will provide organizations with data-driven software that should help them identify the most impactful business processes to automate using AI, the company said. Financial details were not disclosed.
4. MODERNA: In early March, Moderna (MRNA) and IBM announced their intentions to explore technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid cloud, that "could help support smarter COVID-19 vaccine management." The companies said: "Central to the effort will be a pilot of open, standardized, technology-enabled vaccine distribution approaches aimed to improve supply chain visibility and foster near real-time tracking of vaccine administration. The aim is to identify ways technology can be used to help accelerate secure, information sharing between governments, healthcare providers, life science organizations and individuals. In so doing, Moderna and IBM seek to improve confidence in vaccine programs and increase rates of vaccination, thereby reducing community spread."