201607.19
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IBM Still Provokes More Than Morbid Curiosity

At this point, maybe it’s more like a train or car wreck whose shocking carnage compels you to keep staring at it. I still think there is, however, relevant information in IBM’s ongoing crash though I can’t deny the degree of fascination with it as almost theater. The company yesterday reported its 17th consecutive quarter…

201604.21
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There Is Significance In IBM’s Astonishing ‘Achievement’

By now most people have given up on IBM. I don’t mean that they have dismissed the company as a dinosaur on its way to extinction but rather it has been pulled down from the Pantheon of bellwethers, no longer important in helping us determine the actual state of the US and global economy derived…

201602.24
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Earnings and Revenue Following Economic and Market Accounts

Back in September 2015, FactSet estimated that EPS for the S&P 500 would grow by almost 5% in Q1 2016. Their latest update is now -6.9%. Energy, of course, gets most of the blame but according to their latest breakdown it is widespread if of a smaller magnitude. For Q4, earnings are on track to…

201510.20
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Dollar And The Cloud

IBM reported yesterday yet another disastrous quarter. Revenues declined by nearly 14%, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of at least -12% revenue. That level and accumulation of shrinking has already surpassed the worst of the Great Recession for the company. That comparison holds whether you exclude currency or not, as currency “effects” in 2009 were…

201508.03
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The Fuss About Wages Is The Fuss

The latest FOMC policy statement was dominated by a single, added word; “some.” As far as actual policy maneuvers I doubt it will make much of a difference, but it certainly adds more flavor to the growing evidence the US economy isn’t anywhere near close to what it should have been by now. In other…

201504.23
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Turns Out The ‘Rising Dollar’ Is Real

The purpose of trying to frame revenue and earnings as a figment of dollar calculations is, of course, to make it seem as if these are just numbers that have little meaning. The emphasis on “constant currency” terms is not just a means to alter the figures but the very meaning itself. As IBM has…

201504.22
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It All Went So Quickly

It seems a very long way from here, but it was only December 23rd when the economy was taken as “booming.” That was the day that excited economists under direct confirmation, allegedly, that this time was different. The Commerce Department had reported Q3 GDP up to 5%, raising estimates for business investment and consumer spending….

201411.13
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WalMart Ends Its Streak For the ‘Wrong’ Reason

WalMart finally broke its losing streak in same store comparable sales. Beating expectations, US comps rose 0.5% vs. the same 13 weeks in 2013. That must mean the consumer is resilient once more? While there is certainly no scale in the positive figure for Q3 (the 13 weeks ended October 31) the trend seems to…

201411.10
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Slack Is Not Depressing Wages, Bubbles Are

While the election confirmed the economic perspective of workers and small businesses, in a lot of ways big business has seen nothing different. In fact, apart from monetary-driven incentives, the two views of dysfunction are very much linked. While profit gains have generally been solid, many blue-chip companies are posting weak sales growth or outright…

201410.20
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Maybe IBM Should’ve Bought The Whole ‘Cloud’ Rather Than Itself

IBM blames the cloud for its dismal results, but the fact is that IBM should own the cloud outright (figuratively, of course). If the business has changed so much in the past few years due to customer shifting, then why wasn’t IBM leading that process? Why are they now actually admitting what amounts to a…