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dyfed
Posted: 18 June 2017 09:14:54(UTC)
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Been a while since I heard "u never get sacked for buying IBM"...showing my age...
Price well down, but a couple of pundits over the last few months have suggested that it's got a good research dept with some bright ideas and is underrated. It appears in some technology trackers I've looked at recently in c 10th position. Any thoughts? And does it make any difference if u buy the UK version or the US?
john_r
Posted: 18 June 2017 19:50:29(UTC)
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dyfed;48013 wrote:
Been a while since I heard "u never get sacked for buying IBM"...showing my age...

I guess that phrase was last used in the late seventies / early eighties since IBM has been fighting leadership battles on all fronts since that time.
Now 18th in the list of US largest public companies so still big numbers but "You'll never get rich buying IBM" might be more apt for today. But don't take my word for it - Warren Buffet is reported to have sold a third of his 50 million share holding in IBM this year after significant losses since investing in 2011.
To me it seems IBM is still able to hold on to its legacy mainframe business for captive customers but year by year product sales drop and IT services becomes more dominant. Perhaps falling revenue for 20 straight quarters gives some clue on direction.

2 users thanked john_r for this post.
dyfed on 18/06/2017(UTC), Tim D on 25/09/2017(UTC)
Sara G
Posted: 25 September 2017 14:41:11(UTC)
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I've been looking at IBM as a possible play on Blockchain technology and came across this thread which I missed previously... I was thinking of going for a collective vehicle but there isn't one that ticks all the boxes - FTEK (Source Fintech) is on my watchlist, but there's much more to blockchain than Financials..

This article caught my interest (scroll down for section on IBM):

https://www.fool.com/inv...technology-without.aspx

It appears that the shares remain in the doldrums due to (ongoing) disappointing revenues, but the big bet on blockchain sounds highly promising and I'm wondering if now is a buying opportunity, especially with the $ faltering.

Any further thoughts, anyone?

Dyfed - did you invest and did you go for the US or UK shares?...
Tim D
Posted: 25 September 2017 15:39:43(UTC)
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Sara G;51390 wrote:
I've been looking at IBM as a possible play on Blockchain technology and came across this thread which I missed previously... I was thinking of going for a collective vehicle but there isn't one that ticks all the boxes - FTEK (Source Fintech) is on my watchlist, but there's much more to blockchain than Financials..

This article caught my interest (scroll down for section on IBM):

https://www.fool.com/inv...technology-without.aspx

It appears that the shares remain in the doldrums due to (ongoing) disappointing revenues, but the big bet on blockchain sounds highly promising and I'm wondering if now is a buying opportunity, especially with the $ faltering.


Sceptical. When these dinosaur companies make some claim of a "big bet" on some new upcoming fashionable technology it's usually a lot of hot air and posturing for the analysts to convince them the company is still relevant and still one of the cool kids. Whatever they're doing with blockchain will probably be absolutely insignificant relative to the rest of the bulk of the beast. Buying IBM for exposure to whatever they're doing with Blockchain is probably like buying an FTSEAllShare tracker to get exposure to some obscure small cap. But if anyone has numbers showing otherwise I'd love to see them!

Bear in mind we've seen this before from IBM... back in 2000/2001 they were incredibly enthusiastic about Linux... and a few years ago they were hyping up their Watson "cognitive assistant" tech (translation: "glorified search engine") to ride the wave of big data + AI. Not that IBM has done badly from these things... it's just that they rarely end up being as massive as the initial wave of hype and "we're going to totally own this" bullishness would have you believe. (Talking of hype, I see Gartner's 2017 HypeCycle report has blockchain at peak hype, and "Cognitive Expert Advisors" - ie Watson! - entering the "trough of disillusionment").

But good luck if you go for it.

BTW while that fool article mentions singles out IBM for launching a Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, both Microsoft and Amazon have been active in that area too.
1 user thanked Tim D for this post.
Sara G on 25/09/2017(UTC)
Sara G
Posted: 25 September 2017 16:35:41(UTC)
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Thanks for that, Tim - really helpful.

Microsoft may well be the better prospect - they do have form when it comes to cornering markets...

I think it's quite challenging to see where the biggest profits will be made out of Blockchain - not only because most of the newer companies will either fail or get swallowed up but because as you suggest, more established companies may make the wrong calls.

Companies leveraging the technology to grow their businesses are the other side of the coin - such as Amazon, but also the sort of companies the likes of FGT and MNKS invest in, as the managers take the impact / opportunities arising from disruption into account.

I'll also be looking at ATT and PCT - and maybe revisiting MNL.

Tim D
Posted: 25 September 2017 22:11:40(UTC)
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Sara G;51399 wrote:
Thanks for that, Tim - really helpful.

Microsoft may well be the better prospect - they do have form when it comes to cornering markets...

I think it's quite challenging to see where the biggest profits will be made out of Blockchain - not only because most of the newer companies will either fail or get swallowed up but because as you suggest, more established companies may make the wrong calls.

Companies leveraging the technology to grow their businesses are the other side of the coin - such as Amazon, but also the sort of companies the likes of FGT and MNKS invest in, as the managers take the impact / opportunities arising from disruption into account.

I'll also be looking at ATT and PCT - and maybe revisiting MNL.


Hmmm (and take this all with a massive pinch of IMHO): with these tech behemoths you're not going to get rich from them exploiting some newfangled massively hyped upstart technology... for the giants, that's just business as usual... and it needs to be, has to be... any tech company which doesn't keep up with the times is a dead duck. A lot of the "we've got this" signalling and posturing is more about reassuring investors the company is aware enough of what's going on that it's probably not going to be "disrupted" than it is about convincing them the company is going to actually seriously going to be a dominant major player in some new tech area.

Microsoft very nearly missed "The Internet" and were too late to mobile, but have proven themselves remarkably agile recently with cloud computing and Linux... but the latter two are now just stuff they HAVE to be doing to stay relevant. Intel badly missed mobile (low power processing). Google missed social media. Remains to be seen whether "blockchain" is also one of these monster categories that's so important that missing it or not establishes the winners or losers for a decade or so (personally I suspect not... it's just got splattered by the froth coming off of bitcoin speculation).

The place to be for stellar gains from new tech areas is the companies who's business plan is basically "get bought by <insert tech giant name here>" (if you can get in there early enough) or who manage to successfully pull off that "don't start a company create an industry" thing. Spotting such opportunities - and early enough - is of course very hard to do!

Behemoth Intel vs upstart Nvidia make an interesting case study. Intel has been behind and on the defence in the computer graphics HW field for a couple of decades, and have put out a steady stream of spoilers, token efforts and half-baked solutions in that time, all seemingly calculated to convince the markets "trust us, we're on this, one day we'll own it". To be fair, their market dominance has allowed them to put some real pressure on Nvidia in the low-end "integrated" parts, steadily taking more and more mass-market share and eating more and more of Nvidia's lunch, but that's only spurred Nvidia to push on - as a matter of survival - to new categories like Deep Learning AI and automotive. And in recent years Nvidia have finally and deservedly been reaping the rewards. It's taken a while though: for a long time a lot of people really did expect Intel to crush them. However, despite Intel arguably having somewhat caught up in computer graphics HW capabilities, their share price is much the same as ever (although note they do yield 3% rather than Nvidia's 0.3%!). The reality is they've just done what they had to do to avoid being disrupted by Nvidia. Meanwhile the new battleground for Intel CPUs vs Nvidia GPUs has unsurprisingly moved on to the field of deep learning and AI...

I hold PCT (and have done since it was "TR Technology" even). Just searched the last annual report (April 2017) for any mention of blockchain or distributed ledger; nothing found. Wouldn't be surprised if there is something in the next one; the punters will be expecting them to have some opinion on it!
3 users thanked Tim D for this post.
Micawber on 26/09/2017(UTC), Jeff Liddiard on 26/09/2017(UTC), Rishan on 26/09/2017(UTC)
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