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IBM CEO Faces Wall Street Skeptics as Growth Proves Elusive

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IBM CEO Ginny Rometty (AP Photo)

IBM CEO Ginny Rometty (AP Photo)

(Business Week) – International Business Machines (IBM:US) Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty will face a skeptical audience when she speaks to Wall Street analysts tomorrow.

As she’s worked to revamp the company in a shifting technology industry, Rometty has kept herself bound to IBM’s target (IBM:US) of at least $18 a share in adjusted earnings this year — a number that 60 percent of analysts anticipate the company will miss. After eight consecutive quarters of revenue declines, she must start increasing sales or reduce expenses further to avoid missing the profit goals.

At a daylong conference in New York, Rometty, 56, will probably lay out her plan to use newer technology, such as data analytics and cloud computing, to mount a strong comeback in the coming quarters. The question is whether those lines of business can expand quickly enough to make up for falling sales in IBM’s hardware unit and in emerging markets like China.

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