IBM: buy for lower-risk tech gains

Article Excerpt

We recently made IBM our #1 Stock of the Year for 2012 in our Wall Street Stock Forecaster newsletter. That’s because it’s a global leader that offers a range of technologies and services. The shares are already up 8.2%, but we still think they have lots of growth ahead, and would make a great fit in a safety-conscious investor’s portfolio. IBM $208 (New York symbol IBM; Shares outstanding: 1.2 billion; Market cap: $249.6 billion; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; Dividend yield: 1.6%) is the world’s oldest computer company (it began operating in 1911), with operations in over 170 countries. In the three months ended March 31, 2012, IBM earned $3.1 billion. That’s up 7.1% from $2.9 billion a year earlier. The company spent $3.0 billion on share buybacks in the latest quarter, and $15 billion in 2011. Due to fewer shares outstanding, earnings per share rose 13.0%, to $2.61 from $2.31. Revenue rose 0.3%, to $24.7 billion from $24.6 billion. Computer hardware sales fell…

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