IBM Bolsters Big Data Target

Tickers in this article: IBM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - IBM (IBM) hiked its target for big data and analytics revenue at the company's investor briefing on Thursday and reiterated its long-term financial goal.

The tech giant increased its 2015 revenue target for analytics and big data to $20 billion from $16 billion. Back in 2010, IBM had set an initial goal of $10 billion by 2015.

Big data refers to the management of vast quantities of unstructured data, or information that is outside the realm of traditional databases. Examples include email messages, PowerPoint presentations, audio, video and social media information.

Like big data, IBM's analytics offerings span hardware, software and services, and form the cornerstone of the company's push into high-margin businesses. Speaking at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif., CEO Ginni Rometty said that the firm will focus R&D on growth initiatives such as big data and analytics.

The CEO also noted that, since 2010, IBM has announced or closed 35 acquisitions of around $35 billion, as well as divesting of non-strategic assets. Over the past decade, she said, IBM divested almost $15 billion of revenue as it ramps up its high-margin strategy.

The tech bellwether's most notable divestiture during that period was the $1.25 billion sale of its PC business to Lenovo, which was completed in 2005.

Rometty also noted that IBM recently unveiled the first commercial technologies based on its Watson supercomputer, targeting the lucrative health care sector.

As expected, IBM reiterated its roadmap of delivering operating earnings of at least $20 per share to investors in 2015.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based firm reported robust fourth-quarter results last month, lifted by strength in its software business. Software, which accounted for more than a quarter of the firm's total revenue, increased 3% year over year (or 4% adjusted for currency) to $7.9 billion.

IBM shares dipped 0.68% to $200.95 in early afternoon trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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