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IBM reports 12 straight quarters of decline, but cloud is on the up

IBM has reported its financial performance for the first quarter of 2015, with higher than forecast profit alongside 12 quarters of straight revenue decline. The company managed $19 billion (£12.77 billion) in revenue with $2.91 (£1.96) profit on a per-share basis.

Even with the revenue decline, IBM is starting to show some growth in the cloud and software-as-a-service markets, two of the areas chief executive Ginni Rometty has been pushing the technology giant towards.

The cloud business managed a 60 per cent growth taking in £2.55 billion in revenue. Data analytics, another area Rometty is looking to grow, managed a 12 per cent growth this quarter - not great but still better than nothing.

There is worry that IBM’s lack of early adoption when it comes to the cloud may be a catalyst to its defeat in the market. Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and other providers have been in the market longer, and provide a much deeper pool of services compared to IBM.

On the hardware side, we continue to see IBM funnel investment out of the market. The sale of the x86 server business to Lenovo for £1.41 billion caused a 23 per cent drop in revenue for hardware server business.

IBM did report a strong amount of sales in the hardware business despite the sale to Lenovo, but it declared that this would not happen again, citing surprise that the mainframe business managed to peak at a time where IBM was selling off the company’s assets.

All in all it is another quarter where IBM tries to claim it is in reform, but cannot post any excellent numbers on the cloud and services side of the market. Investors did not seem shocked at the news, with the stock market remaining steady throughout the evening.