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International Business Machines Corp is a global provider of advanced information technologies and innovations. The company`s divisions include Cognitive Solutions, Global Business Services (GBS), Technology Services & Cloud Platforms, Systems and Global Financing.
IBM manufactures and sells hardware, but it also develops middleware and operating systems software. The company offers strategic outsourcing, technology maintenance services and cloud technology, and provides business consulting and financing solutions.
Research has been a crucial part of IBM’s success, and it has held the record for the most patents generated by a business for 25 years in succession.
The company’s nickname is Big Blue – partly because of its blue logo, but also because it once had a dress code of white shirts with blue suits.
Virginia Rometty is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM – she began her career with the company back in 1981, so she knows IBM inside out. Other key figures include Bruno Di Leo, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Markets; and Mark Foster, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services.
IBM was incorporated back in 1911, with the merging of several firms that were working on the automation of business transactions. After some experiments with computers in the 1940s and 50s, IBM’s big breakthrough came with its Model 360 mainframe in the 1960s. A decade later it had become America’s most admired corporation.
A difficult period followed in the late 1980s and early 90s as IBM failed to keep up with the personal computer revolution. But under CEO Louis Gerstner, the company returned to profit as it focused on high-margin opportunities.
In 2005, IBM sold its PC division to Lenovo. In 2011, IBM developed its Watson supercomputer that combines artificial intelligence and sophisticated analytical software. Originally just a research project, Watson is now being used around the world to boost efficiency and even save lives – in healthcare, for example.
IBM reported better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter and full year of 2017. The company had $17 billion in cloud revenue in 2017, up 24 per cent year-on-year.
In January 2018, IBM and Maersk announced they were setting up a joint venture to improve global trade and digitise supply chains by using Blockchain technology. The two companies have been collaborating on Blockchain and cloud-based technologies since 2016. The joint venture aims to enable IBM and Maersk to commercialise and scale their solutions to a wider group of global corporations.
There was some negative news in February 2018, when Canada announced it was scrapping a major IBM federal payroll plan that had caused chaos for thousands of government workers. The Phoenix project went live in 2016, using Oracle Corp software. IBM installed and helped to run the system, but it didn’t meet expectations.
In recent years the IBM share price has fluctuated between a high of $181 in February 2017 and a low of $119 in February 2016. On 1 March 2018 the shares stood at $153.81, giving the company a market capitalisation of around $142 billion. Our IBM chart tracks the ups and downs of the company’s share price over recent weeks and months.
Headquartered in New York, IBM employs over 380,000 staff members who serve clients in some 170 countries around the world. The company has 130,000 employees in India alone. The work done in India has been crucial in keeping down costs at IBM.
IBM common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Stock Exchange. It is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Check out Capital.com for the latest IBM chart.
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