Dow component International Business Machines Corp. (IBM
) traded sharply lower in the first hour of Wednesday’s session after beating first-quarter EPS estimates but missing expected revenues with a 2.8% year-over-year decline. The old school tech giant reaffirmed fiscal year 2017 guidance, but the in-line forecast failed to stem weak sentiment that’s dropped the stock more than 9-points to a four-month low.
The weak results marked the first time in five quarters they’ve missed expectations, but it still sent a chill through long-term shareholders who held losing positions between 2013 and 2016, when nearly every quarter featured a bearish surprise. Fears of a return to that dark period, when the stock scraped the bottom of the Dow performance list, are likely to linger and weigh on shares in coming months.
IBM Monthly Chart (1993–2017)
IBM topped out in 1987 and entered a steep downtrend that continued into a 19-year low at $10.09 in August 1993. It then turned higher, underpinned by the PC revolution and emergence of the World Wide Web, gaining ground in a channeled uptrend that continued into the 1999 high at $138.35. Tests at that level in 2000 and 2001 attracted aggressive selling pressure, but the price held horizontal range support in the upper-80s until the second quarter of 2002 when it broke down and fell to a 4-year low in the mid-50s.
The stock underperformed badly during the mid-decade bull market, stuck under broken range support into a 2007 breakout that failed to reach 1999 resistance. It plunged…