IBM Jumps as Analysts Boost Price Targets to as High as $200

Wednesday, 09 Mar 2011 02:39 PM

 

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International Business Machines Corp. jumped as much as 3.4 percent in New York trading after seven analysts boosted their price targets for the company, including one predicted the shares will reach $200.

Chris Whitmore, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, raised his price target for the stock 14 percent to $200, saying IBM’s analyst meeting yesterday made the company’s profit targets seem “conservative.” He’s now one of eight analysts tracked by Bloomberg projecting the shares will reach at least $180.

At yesterday’s meeting, IBM reiterated its goals of almost doubling per-share operating earnings to at least $20 and increasing sales by about $20 billion by 2015. The company is being conservative on revenue growth and how much it will be able to eliminate in expenses, Whitmore wrote in a note to clients yesterday.

“We believe there is ample flexibility for IBM to beat this target and expect investors to place a larger premium on IBM’s earnings stream as confidence in this goal increases,” said San Francisco-based Whitmore, who maintained his “buy” rating on the company.

IBM said it sees $8 billion in cost savings through 2015 and is assuming only $3 billion of that in its profit target, Whitmore wrote. The company could see about $25 in operating earnings per share in 2015, he said.

IBM, based in Armonk, New York, rose $4.41, or 2.7 percent, to $166.69 at 11:49 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Earlier, it climbed to $167.72, a new intraday price record and the stock’s steepest intraday jump since Jan. 19. The shares had climbed 11 percent this year before today.

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