International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Announces Major BlockChain Initiatives

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We all know how influential the technology behind the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin could eventually be. Called blockchain, the open ledger has peaked the interest of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) to the extent that the company is now spending millions to advance the testing of their own version of blockchain.

According to reports coming to us from the Wall Street Journal International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) will be announcing their plans today, which will include ways in which they can utilize and advance the technology behind blockchain. Reportedly the company will continue its collaboration with the Hyperledger project, while also helping their customers implement the technology within their own businesses. For example they are already working with the Japan Exchange Group and London Stock Exchange to explore use cases.

“I think the number of places that a distributed ledger can be used could become almost limitless,” Arvind Krishna, a senior vice president of IBM said.

Undoubtedly International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is just one of many companies who will be exploring and advancing the technologies behind Bitcoin as the businesses take notice of the utility of the blockchain. The stock closed at $121.04 during the last trading session. It is down 27.50% since July 10, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 18.63%.

From a total of 17 analysts covering International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) stock, 4 rate it a “Buy”, 3 a “Sell”, and 10 a “Hold”. This means that 24% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $178 while the lowest target price is $125. The mean of all analyst targets is $151.33 which is 25.02% above today’s ($121.04) stock price. International Business Machines was the topic of 29 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. RBC Capital Markets maintained shares on January 15 with a “Sector Perform” rating. Barclays Capital initiated shares with a”Underweight” rating and a $146 target share price in their report from an October 14. JMP Securities initiated IBM stock in a recent report from November 20 with a “Market Perform” rating. Argus Research upgraded the rating on August 26. Argus Research has a “Buy” rating and a $175 price target on shares. Finally, S&P Research maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on an October 21.

The institutional sentiment increased to 0.81 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.04, from 0.77 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 91 funds sold all their International Business Machines Corp. shares they owned while 707 reduced their positions. 81 funds bought stakes while 569 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 562.90 million shares which is 1.71% more than the previous share count of 553.42 million in 2015Q2.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd Can holds 18.27% of its total portfolio in International Business Machines Corp., equating to 1.36 million shares. Shanda Payment Holdings Ltd. owns 87,600 shares representing 11.06% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Berkshire Hathaway Inc has 9.22% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 81.03 million shares. The Japan-based Hikari Power Ltd has a total of 7.9% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Torchmark Corp, a Texas-based fund reported 69,400 shares owned.

Since April 30, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 4 insider sales for a total of $4.34 million in net activity. Di Leo Allen Bruno V sold 18,500 shares worth $2.65M. Rosamilia Thomas W sold 2,700 shares worth $397,926. Van Kralingen Bridget A sold 2,850 shares worth $413,739. Rhodin Michael D. sold 3,000 shares worth $484,887. The insider Clementi Erich sold 5,400 shares worth $931,847.

International Business Machines Corporation is a technology company. The company has a market cap of $120.60 billion. The Firm operates in five business divisions: Global Technology Services , which includes Strategic Outsourcing, Integrated Technology Services, Cloud and Technology Support Services, and also provides information technology (IT) infrastructure and business process services; Global Business Services (GBS), which offers its services across Consulting and Systems Integration, Global Process Services and Application Management Services; Software, which consists of middleware and operating systems software; Systems and Technology (STG), which provides infrastructure technologies, and Global Financing, which provides financing solutions for products or services that are critical to the end users’ business operations. It has 8.89 P/E ratio.

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