In recent weeks, the stock of IBM has staged a dramatic rebound surging from a February 11 low of $118 to $150 today, on what we previously assumed had to be another long-overdue bout of stock buybacks. However, for that to make sense, the company – already at risk of being downgraded if it did not take further cost-cutting measures to offset the additional debt interest expense – would need to engage in another round of mass layoffs.
This is precisely what happened moments ago when Germany press reported that Big Blue is cutting some 1000 jobs in Germany.
Moments ago IBM reported what can be defined simply as abysmal results.
Starting at the bottom, non-GAAP EPS of $3.34 beat expectations of $3.30 but once again thanks to the same trick the company used two quarters ago: it again reduced its effective tax rate from continuing operations down to 18.2%, 2.6% lower than a year ago. Without this reduction, and the $1.5 billion in stock buybacks, non-GAAP EPS would have missed. In fact, a simple math exercise shows that if instead of the pro-forma 18.0% tax rate, IBM had used the 20.6% from a year ago, its non-GAAP EPS would be $3.23, missing consensus.
– IBM Revenue Collapse Is Now Worse Than During Peak Of The Financial Crisis (ZeroHedge, July 20, 2015):
The reason IBM stock is currently sliding and dragging down the broader Dow Jones future with it is that with Q2 revenues of $20.8 billion, the company not only missed expectations, but was a plunge of 13.4% from a year ago: a drop that surpasses the biggest revenue drop recorded during the peak of the financial crisis! This is also 13 consecutive quarter of declining Y/Y revenues.
– RED ALERT – IBM Moves to Create a Centralized, Central Bank Controlled Blockchain for Currency Control (Liberty Blitzkrieg, March 13, 2015):
International Business Machines Corp is considering adopting the underlying technology behind bitcoin, known as the “blockchain,” to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies, according to a person familiar with the matter.Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks.
– From the Reuters article: IBM Looking at Adopting Bitcoin Technology for Major Currencies
Many activists and thinkers in the anti-status quo world were understandably very suspicious of Bitcoin when it first entered mainstream consciousness during its run-up from $10 to $260 in spring 2013. I myself had heard of Bitcoin years before I publicly expressed my interest and support of the technology. With no tech background, I was immediately overwhelmed with the concept, and so I initially dismissed it and forgot about it. It was only in 2012, that I started asking questions of tech experts who I had become friends with it about it in order to calm my concerns. Considering these people have similar political leanings and are even more paranoid than I am about the corporate-gulag state, I felt somewhat reassured. Then, when I recognized the powerful political implications of the technology, I wrote my first public thoughts on it. The post was titled, Bitcoin: A Way to Fight Back Against the Financial Terrorists?
Here’s a key excerpt from the post, and what really got me interested in Bitcoin:
– IBM Stock Disappointed That Company Isn’t Firing A Mindboggling 110,000 (ZeroHedge, Jan 26, 2015):
Over the weekend, in a repeat of rumors that were widespread last year, Forbes ‘reported’ about Project Chrome, a massive corporate reorganization for IBM that would see Big Blue cull over a quarter of its staff – in real terms that means over 110,000 employees, as early as next week. IBM stocks surged higher on this ‘great’ news… and then, disappointment started as “the largest corporate restructuring in history” was denied by the company…
Christmas is approaching and those bonuses are getting bigger that way.
– The Buyback Of Things: IBM To Repurchase Another $5 Billion In Stock In Next Two Quarters (ZeroHedge, Oct 28, 2014):
When all else fails, and there is no growth, what you gonna call? Buybackbusters!
A week after IBM reported atrocious earnings, due to a variety of issues but most of all because it simply repurchased the least amount of stock in the past quarter in years (as it was approaching the limit of its buyback authorization), Big Blue is back to doing the one thing it does well: the buyback of things, in this case revealing its board has just authorized $5 billion in stock buybacks through April 2015 which means that with the $1.4 billion still under authorization, IBM is set to purchase about $3.2 billion in Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, each. And then, in April 2015, IBM will ask for an even bigger stock buyback authorization from its board. Which, clearly, the board – whose IBM stock will promptly rise as a result – will grant.
Just released by IBM:
– Blood Red From Big Blue: Why IBM Is Crashing, In Charts (ZeroHedge, Oct 20, 2014):
Remember when three short months ago we revealed what was “the scariest chart in IBM’s history”, namely the one showing IBM’s total debt to equity ratio? With this chart, incidentally, we also explained why IBM’s ridiculous stock repurchasing strategy, which had seen $37.7 billion in stock buybacks since 2012, or more than the total debt issuance of $33.6 billion during the same period could not continue and why, inevitably, IBM would have a massively disappointing quarter? Well, that quarter just hit, when moments ago in an early press release, IBM reported abysmal adjusted EPS of only $3.68, a huge miss to the $4.32 Wall Street expected, mostly a function of one simple thing: the buyback “strategy” finally hit a brick wall.
Always wanted to know the feeling of being in the eye of a monster hurricane?
Well, we all are in the eye of the biggest financial monster hurricane ever created, right now.
It’s already bad, but this is really nothing compared to what is coming.
– Frontrunning: July 10 (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):
- Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
- Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
- Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
- French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
- Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
- U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)… finds terabytes of porn
- It’s Congress’ fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
- Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
- Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
- Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)
Overnight Media Digest
– First Cisco And Microsoft, Now IBM: China Orders Banks To Remove High-End IBM Servers (ZeroHedge, May 27, 2014):
A week ago, in retaliation to the inane charges lobbed by the US accusing 5 Chinese army officials of spying on US companies (when the NSA spying scandal on, well, everyone refuses to leave the front pages), China announced it would ban the use of Windows 8 on government computers (considering the quality of Windows 8, this is likely a decision government computers would have taken on their own regardless). Today, China has expanded its list of sanctioned companies from Microsoft to include IBM as well, following a Bloomberg report that the Chinese government is pushing domestic banks to “remove high-end servers made by International Business Machines Corp. and replace them with a local brand.”
Why is MSFT and now IBM sowing the seeds of the US government’s stupidity and failed attempts to distract from its own spying scandals? We don’t know. Here is what we do know:
– 10 Most Profitable U.S. Companies Paid 9% in Federal Income Taxes (AllGov, Aug 18, 2012):
The largest corporations in the U.S., consisting of oil, retail, banking and technology giants, paid an average of only 9% of their earnings in income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service last year.
According to the tax code, companies are supposed to pay 35% income tax. But NerdWallet determined that the top 10 came nowhere near that.
Exxon Mobil, the country’s biggest business, made more than $73 billion in 2011, but paid only $1.5 billion to the IRS.
The second largest company, Chevron, paid $1.9 billion in taxes after collecting $47.6 billion in revenue.
No. 3 on the list, Apple, made $34.2 billion. It paid $3.9 billion to the IRS.
These were followed by:
– Not your father’s IBM (Cringely, April 18, 2012):
This is my promised column about IBM — the first of several on the topic, all to be delivered this week. The last time I wrote at length about Big Blue was in 2007. I have been asked by readers many times to revisit the subject, something I haven’t wanted to do because it is such a downer. Writing the last time I hoped the situation, once revealed, would improve. But it hasn’t. And so, five years later, I turn to IBM again. The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.
– Confirmed: Thailand’s “Pro-Democracy” Movement Working for US (Activist Post, August 13, 2011):
Thailand’s “Red Shirts” boast of NED, Fortune 500 Washington D.C. Visit
Bangkok, Thailand, August 13, 2011 – While it is well established that Thailand’s “red shirt” street mob is working on behalf of globalist-stooge Thaksin Shinawatra who in turn is backed by some of the United States’ largest lobbying firms, most influential politicians, and most powerful corporate-financier interests, it is now confirmed that key leaders within the “red shirt” movement or United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) have met with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the U.S. – ASEAN Business Council in an April 2011 Washington D.C. visit.
Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s prime minister from 2001 until a military coup removed him in 2006, was a former Carlyle Group adviser and was literally reporting to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on the eve of his ousting from power. While in office, Thaksin attempted to ramrod through the US-Thailand Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) without parliamentary approval, a 2004 FTA backed by the exact same US-ASEAN Business Council recently visited by UDD leaders in April of 2011.
Image: The US-ASEAN Business Council, a who’s-who of corporate fascism in the US, has been approached by Thailand’s “pro-democracy” UDD for support. The UDD never fully explains what corporations like Exxon, BP, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, or other banes to humanity have to do with democracy or what sort of support was asked for or promised. (click image to enlarge)The council in 2004 included 3M, war profiteering Bechtel, Boeing, Cargill, Citigroup, General Electric, IBM, the notorious Monsanto, and currently also includes the criminal banksters of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Chevron, Exxon, BP, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck, Northrop Grumman, Monsanto’s GMO doppelganger Syngenta, and Phillip Morris. Admittedly, these corporations are more synonymous with mass murder, mass corruption, corporate fascism, crony-capitalism, warmongering, lies, deceit and all the other ugly aspects that truly define “globalization,” than they are with any tenant of “liberal democracy.”
– Los Alamos Takes Supercomputers Offline (Data Center Knowledge, June 30, 2011):
The wildfire threatening Los Alamos, New Mexico has gained national attention, largely due to concerns about the safety of nuclear waste at Los Alamos National Labs, which played a key role in the Manhattan Project and nuclear weapons development and testing. As we noted Monday, the Department of Energy facility also houses two of the world’s leading supercomputers, the Cielo and Roadrunner systems. Those systems have been taken offline, Computerworld reports.“
A Los Alamos spokeswoman said the laboratory conducted an ‘orderly shutdown’ of two of its largest supercomputers,” writes Patrick Thibodeau at ComputerWorld. “IBM’s Roadrunner, the first the break the petaflop barrier in 2008, and now the 10th ranked most powerful supercomputer in the world, and Cielo, a Craig system that is ranked No. 6 on the Top500 list. The supercomputer shutdowns were conducted ‘early on,’ but an exact day or reason for the action wasn’t clear.”
With the intention of flooding 70% of the global cocoa supply with genetically modified (GMO) cocoa tree hybrids, a collaboration involving Mars, USDA and IBM is accelerating this process.
With primary funding from US chocolate producer Mars, the partnership includes scientists based at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture and Science as well as researchers working at IBM’s Thomas J Watson Research Center.
The scientists are determined to finalize gene sequencing of the cocoa genome which they say will “benefit” the chocolate industry and cocoa growers in West Africa where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced, and in other tropical zones.
According to the global head of plant science and research at the confectionery firm, Howard-Yana Shapiro, the sequence is of great importance.
“As plant breeders, we’re always looking after the golden traits: pest and disease resistant, drought tolerance, the ability to adapt to climate change, tree architecture, yield quality, etc,” said Dr Shapiro.
The researchers including ARS based molecular biologist David Kuhn and geneticist Raymond Schnell said that they released the findings of sequencing into the public domain in order to assist scientists to begin applying the findings immediately.
The results have been published on the Cacao Genome Database website.
Advertising billboards similar to those seen in the film Minority Report, which can recognise passers-by, target them with customised adverts and even use their names, are being developed by computer engineers.
Researchers at IBM have revealed they are working on technology which will lead to consumers being shown tailor made adverts that reflect their personal interests.
Digital advertising screens are already appearing in train stations, on bus stops and on the sides of buildings, but currently they only show generic adverts for a handful of products.
The new advertising hoardings will behave like those in the film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, in which Cruise’s character is confronted with digital signs that call out his name as he walks through a futuristic shopping mall.
“John Anderton. You could use a Guinness right about now,” one billboard announces as he walks past.
IBM claims that its technology will help prevent consumers from being subjected to a barrage of irritating advertising because they will only be shown adverts for products that are relevant to them.
The system works by using the same kind of wireless technology tags found in Oyster Cards – the travel cards used on the London Underground.
These tags, which are known as RFID chips are increasingly also being incorporated into credit cards and onto mobile phones.
By encoding these chips with information about the individual, digital advertising boards could identify a person as they pass by and show them an advert according to what is known about their shopping habits and personal preferences.
Brian Innes, a research scientist at IBM’s innovation laboratories in Hursley, near Winchester, said: “In Minority Report, the billboards recognise passers-by and play adverts that are specific for the individual.
“In the film, the billboards rely on scanning the person’s eyeball, but we are using RFID technology that people are carrying around with them, so they can have a tailor made message.”
From documentary filmmaker William Lewis comes a bone chilling documentary on the spying, tracking and control of the American public.
Source: Google Video
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks tumbled on Wednesday, dragging the S&P 500 into a bear market, as worries about more credit losses hurt financial companies and Cisco Systems led technology shares lower after its CEO raised fears of an extended economic downturn.
The S&P closed 20 percent below its all-time high set in October, making it the last of the three major U.S. stock indexes to fall into a bear market. Stocks have been roiled for months by the credit crisis and a severe U.S. economic slowdown.
Related article: US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
In the latest news to scare the market, Cisco’s (CSCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) John Chambers told Reuters that customers of the company, which makes Internet infrastructure, see the economy picking up early in 2009 rather than later this year. At least two brokerages also cut their price targets on the stock.
Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Freddie Mac (FRE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) dropped sharply as some investors worried that the two pillars of the U.S. housing market will need to raise billions of dollars in additional capital through stock sales, diluting the holdings of current investors.
Merrill Lynch (MER.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares fell more than 9 percent, after Fitch Ratings said it may cut the U.S. investment bank’s debt rating, given expected ongoing write-downs and diminished prospects for earnings.
WASHINGTON – Scientists unveiled the world’s fastest supercomputer on Monday, a $100 million machine that for the first time has performed 1,000 trillion calculations per second in a sustained exercise.
The technology breakthrough was accomplished by engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the IBM Corp. on a computer to be used primarily on nuclear weapons work, including simulating nuclear explosions.
The computer, named Roadrunner, is twice as fast as IBM’s Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which itself is three times faster than any of the world’s other supercomputers, according to IBM.
“The computer is a speed demon. It will allow us to solve tremendous problems,” said Thomas D’Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons research and maintains the warhead stockpile.
Excerpts from the long but excellent article:
“Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts.”
“The security cameras are just one part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known in China as “Golden Shield.” The end goal is to use the latest people-tracking technology — thoughtfully supplied by American giants like IBM, Honeywell and General Electric — to create an airtight consumer cocoon:”
“Like everything else assembled in China with American parts, Police State 2.0 is ready for export to a neighborhood near you.”
“This is how this Golden Shield will work: Chinese citizens will be watched around the clock through networked CCTV cameras and remote monitoring of computers. They will be listened to on their phone calls, monitored by digital voice-recognition technologies. Their Internet access will be aggressively limited through the country’s notorious system of online controls known as the “Great Firewall.” Their movements will be tracked through national ID cards with scannable computer chips and photos that are instantly uploaded to police databases and linked to their holder’s personal data. This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces.”
“Here is a small sample of what the company (L-1) does: produces passports and passport cards for American citizens; takes finger scans of visitors to the U.S. under the Department of Homeland Security’s massive U.S.-Visit program; equips U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with “mobile iris and multimodal devices” so they can collect biometric data in the field; maintains the State Department’s “largest facial-recognition database system”; and produces driver’s licenses in Illinois, Montana and North Carolina. In addition, L-1 has an even more secretive intelligence unit called SpecTal. Asked by a Wall Street analyst to discuss, in “extremely general” terms, what the division was doing with contracts worth roughly $100 million, the company’s CEO would only say, “Stay tuned.””
“It is L-1’s deep integration with multiple U.S. government agencies that makes its dealings in China so interesting: It isn’t just L-1 that is potentially helping the Chinese police to nab political dissidents, it’s U.S. taxpayers. The technology that Yao purchased for just a few thousand dollars is the result of Defense Department research grants and contracts going as far back as 1994, when a young academic named Joseph Atick (the research director Fordyce consulted on L-1’s China dealings) taught a computer at Rockefeller University to recognize his face.”
Thirty years ago, the city of Shenzhen didn’t exist. Back in those days, it was a string of small fishing villages and collectively run rice paddies, a place of rutted dirt roads and traditional temples. That was before the Communist Party chose it – thanks to its location close to Hong Kong’s port – to be China’s first “special economic zone,” one of only four areas where capitalism would be permitted on a trial basis.
The theory behind the experiment was that the “real” China would keep its socialist soul intact while profiting from the private-sector jobs and industrial development created in Shenzhen. The result was a city of pure commerce, undiluted by history or rooted culture – the crack cocaine of capitalism. It was a force so addictive to investors that the Shenzhen experiment quickly expanded, swallowing not just the surrounding Pearl River Delta, which now houses roughly 100,000 factories, but much of the rest of the country as well.
Five years ago, “you’d never have a contractor supporting an operation on the field where they’re making a recommendation to an officer,” said Humphrey. Nor would you find a contractor “making little contributions here and there” in the reports intelligence officers sent back to Washington. “This concerns me a lot, the way these lines are blurring,” he went on. “We shouldn’t be involved in some of these intelligence operations, or the planning, or the interrogations and what have you.” Unless government started taking more responsibility in the field, he warned, the “blowback” for the contracting industry could be profound.
The intelligence professionals in the room looked stunned. They had just sat through two days of upbeat discussions about the annual $10-billion expansion of U.S. intelligence budgets and the opportunities that money presented for defense contractors, information technology vendors, and former national security officials who still held their top secret security clearances. Upstairs in the exhibition hall, thirty-five companies were displaying the latest high-tech spying equipment and competing to recruit new employees, who could earn up to three times government pay by migrating to the private sector. Words like “blowback” did not come easily at such gatherings.