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What exactly is influencer marketing? How does it differ from other forms of advertising? And why should marketers care?

Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses looking to reach new audiences.

Marketers use various strategies to identify influential individuals and gain access to their followers.

In this article, we’ll discuss what influencer marketing is and the variable for incorporating influencer marketing into a brand’s strategy.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing uses celebrities, athletes, bloggers, and other influential figures to market brands.

Influencers are those who have large social media followings and have the ability to influence their audience.

Brands use influencers to promote their product or service through paid advertisements, free giveaways, and endorsements. In addition, they can generate significant brand awareness and loyalty through paid or unpaid posts.

The goal is to get them to share valuable information and create excitement around a particular topic, product, or service. The key benefit for brands is that they reach a larger audience at a lower cost than traditional advertising methods.

The Right Influencer

However, this opportunity comes with some responsibility on the part of the brand.

Brands must be careful when choosing an influencer because it’s easy for them to fall in love with the idea of working with someone influential.

Unfortunately, without thorough background research, this can lead to a situation where a potentially ideal influencer promotes products that aren’t aligned with a brand’s values. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the influencer you want to work with aligns with your brand’s goals and values.

Influencer marketing also requires brands to pay influencers fairly. If you don’t pay your influencers what they deserve, they won’t promote your brand in the vision you want them to. Additionally, you can risk a potentially fruitful relationship.

Creating A Plan

When collaborating with an influencer, it’s essential to not just think of the total cost but the project’s goals and establish what you would like accomplished in the front end.

This can include a discovery call to plan out potential posts or how-to videos. Will you provide the content and supporting information, or will they? Of course, all this will affect the cost and time involved in creating the posts.

Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective ways to get people talking about your business online. It’s essential to know how to find the right influencers for your niche to ensure your message gets across.

Why We All Need Influencer Marketing & How We Can Use It

A study showed that in 2022 influencer marketing is set to reach $16.4 billion and 75% of brand marketers plan to include influencer marketing in this year’s strategy. This type of marketing is growing fast and doing well.

And this isn’t just for B2C brands, since 86% of B2B brands find influencer marketing a valuable strategy. That’s a considerable return on investment if you have the right approach.

If you’re only using traditional digital marketing (SEO, PPC, social media, etc.), you’re clearly missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your ROI.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an agency, brand, or business – everyone can benefit from trying influencer marketing.

Don’t believe me? You should. Influencer marketing is not “out of your league.” Here’s why.

Influencer Marketing For Agencies

How many clients does your agency have? That’s how many new influencing opportunities your agency has at its fingertips.

Agencies can use their clients, the ones they like and like them, to help promote their agency for them.

Think of it like receiving a referral or customer review.

If someone enjoys working with you and the business next door asks how they got so successful so quickly, they’re going to tell the next-door business all about your agency and how you helped them.

Case Studies & New Content

Capitalize on this process and ask your clients for video testimonials to become a part of your referral program (create one) and if you can use their results for case studies.

If you’ve been able to impact a client positively, they’re highly likely to approve you sharing the story of how you took them from one to 10.

Gather a dozen different case studies from your past and current clients to publish on your website, social pages, email newsletters, and ads. This isn’t only additional content but content your existing and new clients will appreciate.

You can also make the case study an appealing PDF and share it with the case study client for them to share among their peers.

If you help them reach their goals, they’ll love the PDF filled with graphics, charts, and impressive numbers to share with other business owners.

Trial By Error

Another way to utilize your clients for influencer marketing is to ask your clients to test out a new product.

If they’re a big client of yours, it’s appropriate to let them know that your agency is trying to innovate with all of the tech advances, and you want to try a new strategy or product with them as a test.

FREE Of Charge

If things work out with the test, woohoo! You’ve added another section to the contract. And you have a new service or product to charge for in the future.

If things don’t work out, you get insightful and honest feedback from the client and know how to fix the product or plan.

Brands

One of the most significant ways I see brands utilize influencer marketing is by partnering up with other brands.

Before I get too deep into this, I want to clarify that there are prominent corporate players like Sprint and Blue Apron. And they’re also individual brands like famous Instagram users and YouTube celebrities.

A brand can be an individual brand, like you trying to grow your role as a digital marketer in the industry. However, it can also represent a larger entity for cosmetics and skincare like Maybelline.

Now, back to the brands and the whole influencer marketing idea. Brands will partner together in campaigns to help widen their audience with influencer marketing.

They can use relevant brands in the same industry or reach out of the spectrum and partner with entirely different brands to increase their exposure to a new audience.

When you work with an influencer in a different industry, you get a level of influencer where you can capitalize on the new audience. Be strategic in who you reach out to and ask to partner up in a new influencing campaign.

Partnering with the wrong brand will profoundly impact your brand’s reputation and possibly ruin it.

Red Bull partnering with Coca-Cola for a new content campaign also wouldn’t be the best of ideas. On the one hand, Red Bull is heavily involved in extreme sports. But, they’ve chosen that angle due to their real product, an energy drink named Red Bull that essentially “gives you wings,” to be extreme.

Sure, the Red Bull athletes could do an incredible stunt riding a mountain bike down the ledge of the mountain holding both a Coca-Cola and a Red Bull can, but what would be the point?

It wouldn’t make sense because, technically, the two can be seen as competitors. They both are on-the-go drink manufacturers.

Instead, Red Bull could partner with Nike and do a content campaign featuring Nike’s new apparel line, Red Bull’s energy drink, and summer sports.

Just because your brand is in the same industry as another doesn’t mean a collab will work. It’s important to research how your consumers will react to the ad.

Businesses

We can most commonly recognize influencer marketing when businesses do it.

If your business makes pipes for the plumbing industry, head to that list of the most famous plumbers and start reaching out.

Doing outreach is a huge part of influencer marketing. It almost feels like putting on a public relations or journalist hat for a second as you try and narrow down your influencers.

Once you’ve found an influencer who has agreed to help promote your product, don’t just stop there. The more influencers you have, the more brand exposure you get, as well as trust.

The word will get around if one of the most famous plumbers uses your pipes for repairs. Other plumbers will trust the renowned plumber and follow in their footsteps to purchase and use only your pipes.

When To Pay An Influencer

Sometimes, you don’t need to pay an influencer. Instead, samples of the product you’re asking them to promote, discounts, or free services usually suffice.

It changes and becomes a more costly strategy when you pick who the influencer is and depends on the type of content you want.

The bigger the influencer, the more they’ll want.

If you’re aiming for that Kardashian type of exposure, you will need to break out the wallet. And the credit card. And possibly your mortgage.

Influencers Who Cost, A Lot

If you’re a brand, business, or agency with goals like a Kardashian type of exposure and the budget to match. Then, by all means, reach out to your lawyers and start preparing contracts for when you lock in those influencers.

Make sure your contracts clearly state the expectations of the influencer. For example, if you want them to run the content by you before they publish it, specify that in the contract.

If you want the influencer to only be able to promote your plumbing pipes and not work with any other pipe companies, state it in the contract.

Influencers Of Little To No Cost

For the rest of us, focus on the more affordable influencers. These people may already invest much of their time promoting your brand because they love your product or what you do.

Death Wish Coffee is an excellent example of this.

People love their product, the ridiculously strong coffee that comes with a side of sarcasm. The brand speaks its customer’s language, making it fun for customers to engage and promote the product themselves.

This coffee company can monitor its hashtag mentions and unlock hundreds of potential influencers that would love to receive a free month of coffee for posting more about their brand.

Look at what kind of mentions your brand, business, or agency is attracting online and follow the conversation. You’ll quickly discover who’s talking about you the most.

Finding An Influencer

Then, look at their followers if they have a healthy following reach out and see if they’d be interested in partnering up with you on an influencer campaign.

Don’t stop reading. I know those of you who are rolling your eyes yelling, “NO ONE MENTIONS MY BRAND!”

Don’t worry. I’ve got a solution for you, too. Look at your big competitors. Think of the Red Bulls and Coca-Colas of your industry.

See what kind of mentions they’re getting and from who. Then, reach out to those influencers and pitch away.

You never know who will say yes unless you ask.

Plus, they may not want as much as you think or even be willing to promote for free after getting to know more about you and your business.

Nowadays, there are numerous influencer marketing tools out there that can help connect you with the right people and brands. So, if you’re having trouble finding people you want to work with, it can be beneficial to give one of the tools a try.

Final Thoughts

Influencer marketing has become much more than just a buzzword.

Marketers have been using influencers to promote their products for years, but brands are now using influencers to build customer relationships and create new revenue streams.

By leveraging the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, marketers can connect directly with consumers through influencers.

This can help to increase brand awareness and drive sales. It can also open your brand, business, or agency to new audiences.

As we get closer to the end of this year, try strategizing the influencer marketing opportunities you have out there.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Anton Vierietin/Shutterstock

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 23:52:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.searchenginejournal.com/fundamentals-influencer-marketing/461378/
Killexams : IBM: A High-Yielding Income Generation Idea Worth A Look
Day 1 - Mobile World Congress 2022

David Ramos

By The Valuentum Team

International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) has become a fundamentally different business in the past few years, one focused on providing hybrid cloud computing offerings. The company is a stellar free cash flow generator which enables IBM to reward investors via generous dividend increases, with shares of IBM yielding ~5.1% as of this writing. Substantial near-term headwinds remain, largely due to the various exogenous shocks seen of late (such as major inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, supply chain hurdles, and raging geopolitical tensions), though IBM is still worth considering as a high-yielding income generation idea.

IBM's Key Investment Considerations

Investment Considerations

Image Source: Valuentum

IBM solves business problems via integrated hardware/software solutions that leverage IT and its knowledge of business processes. Its solutions help reduce a client's costs or enable new capabilities that generate revenue. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in New York.

Back in 2019, IBM bought Red Hat (a top provider of open source cloud software) through a ~$34 billion deal which made IBM a contending hybrid cloud provider. IBM is looking to seize what it describes as a ~$1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity, and exact growth in this area has been encouraging. IBM's revamped management team is working hard to turn things around after the company made various blunders during the 2010s decade. Its current Chairman and CEO, Arvind Krishna, has done a solid job righting the ship at IBM since taking on the top role in 2020.

In November 2021, IBM spun off its legacy business tax-free to shareholders as a new publicly traded entity, Kyndryl Holdings, Inc. (KD). Initially, IBM retained a 19.9% stake in Kyndryl though the firm intends to exit that position within 12 months of the spinoff.

Earnings Update

On July 18, IBM reported earnings for the second quarter of 2022 that beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. Its GAAP revenues rose by 9% year-over-year to hit $15.5 billion with strong growth at its Red Hat, various consulting services, and hybrid infrastructure offerings being key here. When removing foreign currency headwinds arising from the strong US dollar seen of late from the picture, IBM's non-GAAP constant currency revenues were up 16% year-over-year last quarter. IBM's portfolio optimization efforts are having a very powerful impact on its financial performance.

The firm's GAAP gross margin fell by ~185 basis points year-over-year last quarter, falling down to 55.4%. However, economies of scale helped drive its GAAP income from continuing operations up by 81% year-over-year in the second quarter, rising to $1.5 billion. There is some noise here due to the separation of IBM's legacy businesses (via the spinoff of Kyndryl) from its core operations. Keeping that noise in mind, IBM's underlying operations have performed quite well of late.

During its second quarter earnings call, IBM's management team noted the firm now forecasted that its full-year free cash flows would come in near $10.0 billion in 2022, at the low end of its previous forecast. IBM generated $3.6 billion in free cash flow (defined as net operating cash flow less 'payments for property, plant, and equipment' and 'investment in software') while spending $3.0 billion covering its dividend obligations during the first half of 2022. Its modest share repurchases during this period were related to tax withholding purposes as the new IBM is focused on retaining cash to invest in the business. We appreciate that IBM's dividend obligations remain well-covered by its traditional free cash flows.

The company exited June 2022 with a net debt load of $42.8 billion (inclusive of short-term debt, exclusive of restricted cash). One of the biggest risks to IBM's dividend is its large net debt load. IBM had $7.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and current marketable securities on hand at the end of June 2022 which provides the company with ample liquidity to meet its near-term funding needs.

IBM continues to expect that its constant currency revenues will grow decently this year (in the mid-single digit range), though sustained foreign currency headwinds are expected to offset strong demand for its offerings, to a degree. Over the long haul, we forecast that under its new management team, IBM will return to stable revenue growth which in turn should see the company's free cash flows swell higher. That would allow IBM to boost its dividend in a sustainable manner going forward, though we caution that its net debt load could limit the size of any future payout increases.

Dividend Analysis

Table of IBM's Dividend Cushion ratio as derived by Valuentum.

IBM's forward-looking dividend coverage is weighed down negatively by its large net debt load. (Valuentum)

The Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction, shown in the image up above, reveals the numerator and denominator of the Dividend Cushion ratio. At the core, the larger the numerator, or the healthier a company's balance sheet and future free cash flow generation, relative to the denominator, or a company's cash dividend obligations, the more durable the dividend.

The Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction image puts sources of free cash in the context of financial obligations next to expected cash dividend payments over the next 5 years on a side-by-side comparison. Because the Dividend Cushion ratio and many of its components are forward-looking, our dividend evaluation may change upon subsequent updates as future forecasts are altered to reflect new information.

In the context of the Dividend Cushion ratio, IBM's numerator is smaller than its denominator, which suggests weak forward-looking dividend coverage. However, given IBM's strong and stable cash flow profile, we view its forward-looking dividend coverage favorably when considering IBM's ability to tap capital markets into account. Should IBM stumble for any reason, its ability to make good on its payout may be in danger.

IBM's Economic Profit Analysis

The best measure of a firm's ability to create value for shareholders is expressed by comparing its return on invested capital ['ROIC'] with its weighted average cost of capital ['WACC']. The gap or difference between ROIC and WACC is called the firm's economic profit spread. IBM's 3-year historical return on invested capital (without goodwill) is 41.6%, which is above the estimate of its cost of capital of 9.2%.

In the chart down below, we show the probable path of ROIC in the years ahead based on the estimated volatility of key drivers behind the measure. The solid grey line reflects the most likely outcome, in our opinion, and represents the scenario that results in our fair value estimate. Assuming IBM's exact portfolio optimization efforts go as planned, the firm's ability to generate shareholder value (which historically has been impressive) should continue to improve.

Adjusted Return on Invested Capital

Image Source: Valuentum

IBM's Cash Flow Valuation Analysis

Cash Flow Generation

Image Source: Valuentum

Our discounted cash flow process values each firm on the basis of the present value of all future free cash flows, net of balance sheet considerations. We think IBM is worth $136 per share with a fair value range of $101-$171 per share. Shares of IBM are trading moderately below our fair value estimate as of this writing.

The near-term operating forecasts used in our enterprise cash flow model, including revenue and earnings, do not differ much from consensus estimates or management guidance. Our model reflects a compound annual revenue growth rate of 3.4% during the next five years, a pace that is higher than the firm's 3-year historical compound annual growth rate of -10.3%.

Our model reflects a 5-year projected average operating margin of 17.6%, which is above IBM's trailing 3-year average. Beyond Year 5, we assume free cash flow will grow at an annual rate of 2% for the next 15 years and 3% in perpetuity. For IBM, we use a 9.2% weighted average cost of capital to discount future free cash flows.

Valuation Assumptions

Image Source: Valuentum

Valuation Breakdown

Image Source: Valuentum

IBM's Margin of Safety Analysis

Range of Potential Outcomes

Image Source: Valuentum

Although we estimate IBM's fair value at about $136 per share, every company has a range of probable fair values that's created by the uncertainty of key valuation drivers (like future revenue or earnings, for example). After all, if the future were known with certainty, we wouldn't see much volatility in the markets as stocks would trade precisely at their known fair values.

In the graphic up above, we show this probable range of fair values for IBM. We think the firm is attractive below $101 per share (the green line), but quite expensive above $171 per share (the red line). The prices that fall along the yellow line, which includes our fair value estimate, represent a reasonable valuation for the firm, in our opinion.

Concluding Thoughts

The steady decline in IBM's legacy business since 2010 represents a major reason why the firm spun off Kyndryl in November 2021. Going forward, IBM will need to prove that as a leaner and more focused enterprise, it can maintain solid revenue and operating income growth over the long haul. We think that will be the case, though substantial near-term headwinds remain. Investors looking for an income generation idea backed up by a strong cash flow profile should take a closer look at IBM.

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 20:10:00 -0500 en text/html https://seekingalpha.com/article/4542216-ibm-stock-high-yielding-income-generation-idea-worth-look
Killexams : IBM Research Secures Future Safe From Quantum Attacks

Quantum computing will bring unimagined innovations to the world when it finally arrives in full glory. Still, quantum remains in the research labs at companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft. While companies and research institutions are investing billions of dollars to increase the capacity of quantum systems, a time will come in the following years, or decades, when researchers will reach "quantum supremacy." But these large quantum marvels could also jeopardize the security of critical information systems. Researchers, including IBM are working to develop new security algorithms that will be resilient to these attacks.

The Quantum Threat to Security

While quantum can solve computing challenges far beyond what is possible today, its ability to find the factors of large prime numbers makes it the ideal cybersecurity safe cracker once quantum computing systems mature in their scale, quality, and speed. Every computer system and every bit of "secure" data could become vulnerable to attack from quantum-equipped nefarious actors. The World Economic Forum "estimate(s) that over 20 billion digital devices will need to be either upgraded or replaced in the next 10-20 years to use the new forms of quantum-resistant encrypted communication. We recommend that organizations start planning for this now.

What constitutes "adequate size" might give us some false comfort: a 2019 study suggested that a computer with 20 million qubits would take eight hours to break modern encryption. Today's quantum computers are on the order of only 100 qubits. But while that implies that the threat is in the distant future, one must consider that a bad actor doesn't need to wait for the massive quantum system to materialize. The "Steal now, crack later" approach leads to a latent future security threat. Consequently, organizations should deploy quantum-safe security as soon as possible to minimize future risk.

Stopping Quantum Attacks Before They Begin

Consequently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been conducting an ongoing search for quantum-safe security algorithms that are both secure and efficient. After all, we need our laptops, cars, and mobile phones to also be able to resist attacks from quantum-equipped bad actors. After four rounds of submissions, NIST selected four algorithms from a slate of 82 candidates. IBM Research had submitted 3 of the four chosen algorithms. All submissions have been subjected to research by industry scrutiny by government agencies, academic scientists, and mathematicians. This process is now reaching its conclusion; the NIST is expected to publish standards based on these 4 algorithms sometime in 2024.

The NIST contest covers the two aspects of security that could be vulnerable to quantum computing: public key encapsulation (used for public-key encryption and key establishment) and digital signatures (used for identity authentication and non-repudiation). For the former, NIST selected the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm. NIST selected three algorithms for signatures: CRYSTALS-Dilithium, FALCON, and SPHINCS+, with CRYSTALS-Dilithium as the primary algorithm in the signature category.

The Telco Industry Steps Up to Address Quantum Safe

On September 29, GSMA announced the formation of the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, of which IBM and Vodafone are initial members, to help define policy, regulation and operator business processes to enhance protections of telecommunications in a future of advanced quantum computing. Since virtually all organizations and sectors conduct commerce on the internet, and the 800 providers whose pipes that carry all the internet traffic, the Telco industry is a good place to start. We expect other sectors to follow suit, perhaps starting with banking, government, and health care.

IBM Adds Quantum-Safe Security to the IBM z16

Given the magnitude of the potential risks, and the predominance of IBM Z systems in security-critical applications, IBM has included future-proof digital signature support in its latest z16 mainframe using CRYSTALS-Kyber and CRYSTALS -Dilithium algorithms selected by NIST. z16 implements this algorithm across multiple layers of firmware to help protect business-critical infrastructure and data from future quantum attacks. IBM has said it is also working to bring these new methods to the broader market.

In addition, IBM has developed a multi-step process to assist clients toward rapidly making institutions quantum safe. The company works with clients to identify where they are vulnerable to quantum-based cryptography attacks, assess cryptographic maturity and dependencies, and identify near-term achievable cryptographic goals and projects. The risks clients may face vary substantially based on the type of applications and data an organization handles and the state of its current cryptography.

Conclusions

Quantum computing's potential threat to global information security may seem to be a distant and abstract risk. However, the inevitable advances of quantum technology and the "Steal now, crack later" approach bad actors are undertaking to make quantum-safe a genuine and pressing matter for vendors and IT organizations. IBM wasted no time bringing that technology to market in the IBM z16. IBM Research has contributed three of the four algorithms the NIST quantum-safe contest has selected to be the most viable, secure, and efficient of the 70 techniques evaluated.

Beyond the NIST-approved algorithms, IBM Is working to provide “crypto agility”, helping organizations not only replace the soon-to-fail existing algorithms but also transform their security practices to remain resilient as new threats emerge in the post-quantum world. Creating crypto observability, enabling ongoing monitoring and actions on crypto-related security items, will help keep the world safer from bad actors with virtually unlimited computing capacity at their disposal.

More information can be found at here.

Disclosures: This article expresses the opinions of the authors, and is not to be taken as advice to purchase from nor invest in the companies mentioned. Cambrian AI Research is fortunate to have many, if not most, semiconductor firms as our clients, including Blaize, Cerebras, D-Matrix, Esperanto, FuriosaAI, Graphcore, GML, IBM, Intel, Mythic, NVIDIA, Qualcomm Technologies, Si-Five, SiMa.ai, Synopsys, and Tenstorrent. We have no investment positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article and do not plan to initiate any in the near future. For more information, please visit our website at https://cambrian-AI.com.

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Karl Freund en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlfreund/2022/09/29/ibm-research-prepares-for-a-world-safe-from-quantum-attacks/
Killexams : Better Buy: IBM Stock vs. 2-Year Treasury Notes

Investors this year increasingly turned away from dividend stocks in favor of the rising yields being offered on bonds. Given that investors can now earn a 4.3% return on a 2-year Treasury note, many prefer that guaranteed return to the risks of putting money into the stock market.

International Business Machines (IBM -1.44%) offers a dividend yield that exceeds that bond return. But with a bear market in progress, are investors better served to take a chance on the cloud stock or to take the 4.3% return at virtually zero risk?

IBM and its dividend

IBM didn't participate in the bull market of the 2010s. The stock dropped as its tech businesses suffered a considerable growth slowdown. In an effort to change that, IBM pivoted into the cloud computing sector aggressively, in part via its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019. Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16% through 2030 for the cloud industry. Growth like that could certainly help both IBM and its stock.

Also, IBM spun off its managed infrastructure business into a new public company, Kyndryl. This business was less of a fit with the parent company amid its pivot to the cloud. Separating it off should make it easier for IBM to grow its revenue.

Time will tell if these moves can help the stock price recover. Nonetheless, IBM currently pays its shareholders $1.65 per share every quarter, or $6.60 per share annually. At the current stock price, that adds up to a yield of 5.6% per year. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, the IRS may tax your dividends at a lower capital gains rate, which can offer an added advantage.

Additionally, IBM hiked its payout annually for 27 consecutive years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. That status carries some importance as many income investors will be more inclined to buy and hold IBM stock because of this status. Also, since abandoning Dividend Aristocrat status tends to hurt a stock, management will probably prioritize maintaining it by continuing to raise those payouts.

Investors also can also reinvest their dividend payments into more IBM stock. However, such newly purchased shares will pay you the dividend yield at that time. The return will rise if the stock falls since investors can buy the exact cash return at a lower price. Conversely, cash yields will drop if the stock rises, but those investors still benefit since the stock has increased in value.

What to know about 2-year Treasury notes

U.S. Treasury notes offer more stability than stocks such as IBM. Investors who purchase the 2-year Treasury note receive semiannual interest payments. At the current interest rate of 4.3%, investors will receive a 2.15% cash return on their invested amount in each of the subsequent three six-month periods. In the fourth period, when the note matures, investors receive the final 2.15% payment along with the return of their principal.

Investors should also be aware that bond values can fluctuate. If interest rates drop, the value of the bond will fall; the opposite will happen if rates rise. This affects investors if they decide to sell the bond early. Upon maturity, the note will return to its par (or nominal) value.

Additionally, bond interest payments are subject to federal income tax but exempt from state and local taxes. In some cases, this is higher than taxes on dividends. Still, bond issuers are obligated to make such payments. In contrast, IBM faces no legal obligation to continue its dividend.

Also, like with a stock, investors can reinvest their interest payments into more notes or other forms of Treasury bonds. However, those purchases will be subject to the prevailing interest rates at that time.

IBM or the 2-year Treasury note?

Investors who lack much risk tolerance should choose the Treasury note. Given its guaranteed return, they will not have to worry about volatility.

Nonetheless, for investors comfortable with buying stocks, IBM is a surprisingly strong buy. The cloud industry is in growth mode, which should propel IBM stock to a long-awaited turnaround. Moreover, IBM has repeatedly shown it wants to hold on to its Dividend Aristocrat status. This should give its income investors returns that are not only larger than the bonds offer, but also likely to increase in size.

Will Healy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 00:20:00 -0500 Will Healy en text/html https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/10/14/better-buy-ibm-stock-vs-2-year-treasury-note/
Killexams : IBM gives its Linux mainframe a major update null © IBM null

IBM has announced the latest version of its Linux-focused mainframe - the LinuxOne Emperor 4 as the company leads with promises of reduced energy consumption and increased sustainability.

While the z16 mainframe, which was announced by the company in April 2022, is optimized for IBM’s z/OS operating system, the LinuxOne Emperor 4 is designed to support Linux operating systems in a bid to obtain a significant portion of the Linux market.

Big Blue’s latest mainframe supports 32 Telum processors and can provide up to 40TB of RAIM. The Emperor 4 also provides “seven nines” of availability, which should translate to three seconds of downtime per year.

Mainframes for Linux distros are increasingly popular among financial services organizations, with Citibank being a user of IBM’s LinuxOne mainframes, combined with the MongoDB database

With its latest iteration, it’s clear that IBM’s focus is on increasing environmental pressures. In a release, it claims that the Emperor 4 “can reduce energy consumption by 75%, space by 50%, and the CO2e footprint by over 850 metric tons annually.”

This expression of commitment towards creating more sustainable products goes hand-in-hand with IBM’s own research which suggests that around half of the CEOs that took part saw sustainability as their highest priority, and indeed one of their greatest challenges.

The integration of artificial intelligence inference should also serve to Boost latency.

Availability for the IBM LinuxOne Emperor 4 is scheduled for September 14, 2022, with entry- and mid-range models set to follow in the first half of 2023.

Via VentureBeat

Tue, 13 Sep 2022 03:17:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/ibm-gives-its-linux-mainframe-a-major-update/ar-AA11Mme9
Killexams : IBM’s former CEO downplays the importance of a college degree for six-figure earning ‘new collar’ jobs that now make up half of its workers

A four-year bachelor’s degree has long been the first rung to climbing America’s corporate ladder.

But the move to prioritize skills over a college education is sweeping through some of America’s largest companies, including Google, EY, Microsoft, and Apple. Strong proponents say the shift helps circumvent a needless barrier to workplace diversity.

“I really do believe an inclusive diverse workforce is better for your company, it’s good for the business,” Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO, told Fortune Media CEO Alan Murray during a panel last month for Connect, Fortune’s executive education community. “That’s not just altruistic.”

Under Rometty’s leadership in 2016, tech giant IBM coined the term “new collar jobs” in reference to roles that require a specific set of skills rather than a four-year degree. It’s a personal commitment for Rometty, one that hits close to home for the 40-year IBM veteran.

When Rometty was 16, her father left the family, leaving her mother, who’d never worked outside the home, suddenly in the position to provide.

“She had four children and nothing past high school, and she had to get a job to…get us out of this downward spiral,” Rometty recalled to Murray. “What I saw in that was that my mother had aptitude; she wasn’t dumb, she just didn’t have access, and that forever stayed in my mind.”

When Rometty became CEO in 2012 following the Great Recession, the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 8%. Despite the influx of applicants, she struggled to find employees who were trained in the particular cybersecurity area she was looking for.

“I realized I couldn’t hire them, so I had to start building them,” she said.

In 2011, IBM launched a corporate social responsibility effort called the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn. It’s since expanded to 11 states in the U.S. and 28 countries.

Through P-TECH, Rometty visited “a very poor high school in a bad neighborhood” that received the company’s support, as well as a community college where IBM was offering help with a technology-based curriculum and internships.

“Voilà! These kids could do the work. I didn’t have [applicants with] college degrees, so I learned that propensity to learn is way more important than just having a degree,” Rometty said.

Realizing the students were fully capable of the tasks that IBM needed moved Rometty to return to the drawing board when it came to IBM’s own application process and whom it was reaching. She said that at the time, 95% of job openings at IBM required a four-year degree. As of January 2021, less than half do, and the company is continuously reevaluating its roles.

For the jobs that now no longer require degrees and instead rely on skills and willingness to learn, IBM had always hired Ph.D. holders from the very best Ivy League schools, Rometty told Murray. But data shows that the degree-less hires for the same jobs performed just as well. “They were more loyal, higher retention, and many went on to get college degrees,” she said.

Rometty has since become cochair of OneTen, a civic organization committed to hiring, promoting, and advancing 1 million Black individuals without four-year degrees within the next 10 years.

If college degrees no longer become compulsory for white-collar jobs, many other qualifications—skills that couldn’t be easily taught in a boot camp, apprenticeship program, or in the first month on the job—could die off, too, University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Sean Martin told Fortune last year.

“The companies themselves miss out on people that research suggests…might be less entitled, more culturally savvy, more desirous of being there,” Martin said. Rather than pedigree, he added, hiring managers should look for motivation.

That’s certainly the case at IBM. Once the company widened its scope, Rometty said, the propensity to learn quickly became more of an important hiring factor than just a degree.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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Sun, 16 Oct 2022 06:27:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ibm-former-ceo-downplays-importance-165139880.html
Killexams : IBM’s Cloud Acquisition Charge Continues With Dialexa

Cloud News

Mark Haranas

IBM continues to spend millions to buy hybrid cloud companies, as the company makes its sixth acquisition in 2022 with Dialexa.

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IBM continues to spend millions on buying hybrid cloud companies with the unveiling of its acquisition of engineering consulting specialist Dialexa to boost its cloud charge.

Since IBM CEO Arvind Krishna took the reins in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, including many hybrid cloud businesses.

In February alone, IBM acquired cloud consultant services standout Sentaca, as well as Microsoft Azure consultancy all-star Neudesic—with the two purchases squarely aimed at boosting IBM’s hybrid and multi-cloud services capabilities.

[Related: UK To Probe Amazon, Google, Microsoft’s Cloud Dominance]

Looking at the Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s purchase of Dialexa, IBM will gain 300 skilled product managers, designers, full-stack engineers and data scientists. Dialexa will become part of IBM’s Consulting business unit, which spearheads the company’s digital product engineering services in the Americas.

“Dialexa’s product engineering expertise, combined with IBM’s hybrid cloud and business transformation offerings, will help our clients turn concepts into differentiated product portfolios that accelerate growth,” said John Granger, senior vice president of IBM Consulting, in a statement.

Krishna: Hybrid Cloud A ‘Competitive Advantage’

Dialexa marks IBM’s sixth purchase in 2022 with the goal of boosting its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence abilities.

Along with buying Dialexa, Sentaca and Neudesic, IBM has also acquired Randori, an attack surface management cybersecurity specialist that helps protect hybrid cloud environments.

Earlier this year, IBM’s CEO said hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence are top of mind for his company in terms of investment and the future.

“We are integrating technology and expertise—from IBM, our partners and even our competitors—to meet the urgent needs of our clients, who see hybrid cloud and AI as crucial sources of competitive advantage,” Krishna said in March. “And we are ready to be the catalyst of progress for our clients as they pursue the digital transformation of the world’s mission-critical businesses.”

In 2021, IBM’s hybrid cloud revenue jumped 19 percent compared with 2020, comprising 35 percent of its total revenue.

IBM’s Acquisition Of Dialexa

Based in Dallas and Chicago, Dialexa delivers a suite of digital product engineering services to help customers create transformative products to drive business outcomes.

Dialexa’s 300-strong engineers and skilled IT experts advise and create custom digital products for customers, which include Deere & Company, Pizza Hut U.S. and Toyota Motor North America. Financial terms of the Dialexa deal were not disclosed.

IBM said Dialexa provides deep experience delivering end-to-end digital product engineering services consisting of strategy, design, build, launch and optimization services across cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

“Digital product engineering represents the tip of the spear for competitive advantage,” said Dialexa CEO Scott Harper in a statement. “IBM and Dialexa’s shared vision for delivering industry-defining digital products could be a game-changer.”

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

Fri, 23 Sep 2022 09:04:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.crn.com/news/cloud/ibm-s-cloud-acquisition-charge-continues-with-dialexa
Killexams : Cisco vs. IBM: Which is the Better High-Yield Tech Dinosaur? No result found, try new keyword!Nonetheless, in this piece, we used TipRanks' Comparison Tool to determine which old-school tech stock — CSCO or IBM — is the better Buy, according to Wall Street estimates. Based purely on ... Mon, 03 Oct 2022 21:39:00 -0500 text/html https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/cisco-vs.-ibm:-which-is-the-better-high-yield-tech-dinosaur Killexams : IBM, CVS, and 10 Other Cheap Stocks That Don’t Deserve to Be in the Bargain Bin

This is looking like a throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater market. Take Tuesday trading: 490 of the S&P 500 stocks are lower after August inflation came in hotter than expected.

Most stocks are having a lousy year, but not all stocks have deserved the same fate. And many stocks have seen their price/earnings ratio collapse to seemingly attractive levels.

Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.barrons.com/articles/ibm-cvs-cheap-stocks-51663098548
Killexams : IBM (IBM) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

IBM (IBM) closed at $127.73 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.36% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.69%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.64%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.2%.

Coming into today, shares of the technology and consulting company had lost 8.02% in the past month. In that same time, the Computer and Technology sector lost 14.62%, while the S&P 500 lost 9.94%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from IBM as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, IBM is projected to report earnings of $1.88 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 25.4%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $13.75 billion, down 21.96% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $9.39 per share and revenue of $59.9 billion. These totals would mark changes of +18.41% and -15.38%, respectively, from last year.

Investors might also notice exact changes to analyst estimates for IBM. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.88% lower. IBM is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, IBM currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 13.56. This represents a no noticeable deviation compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 13.56.

Meanwhile, IBM's PEG ratio is currently 1.94. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. Computer - Integrated Systems stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.77 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Computer - Integrated Systems industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 162, putting it in the bottom 36% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow IBM in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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Mon, 19 Sep 2022 11:43:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ibm-ibm-gains-lags-market-214509102.html
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