IBM's pension fund sells most of its IBM shares

Also dumps Apple, Intel and Microsoft, plus plenty more. But it's not a good look

By Simon Sharwood


IBM's pension fund has sold most of its shares in IBM.

The fund's February 2017 SEC filing records it as holding 82,802 shares. But the May 2017 filing records a reduced holding of 12,451 shares.

Selling shares isn't unusual for a pension fund as dividends alone can't always provide such entities with the cash they need to pay the pensions they exist to provide. Indeed, the filings also show that the fund let go of plenty Intel, Microsoft and Apple shares during the first quarter of 2017. The fund also got out of lots of share completely: by our count it quit over 100 companies in the quarter. So perhaps this is a shift in investment strategy that will benefit pension recipients.

But the fund's divestment is still a bad look for two reasons.

Firstly, IBM's pension fund deciding that holding IBM stock isn't the best way to meet its obligations is hardly a vote of confidence in the company's future. Or a vote of confidence in the tech sector in general.

Second, the pension fund is not the only company worried about Big Blue's prospects. Also in Q1, widely-admired investor Warren Buffet recently shed most of his IBM stock after reportedly souring on Big Blue's prospects. Buffet is thought to worry that for all of IBM's impressive dividend-paying powers, its long string of quarterly revenue reductions doesn't exactly suggest its planned cloud-and-AI-fuelled rebound is imminent. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

Ouch, that's 13 bullet points: IBM pumps out storage software blast

Much tinkering across software board plus expanded capacity flash cards

Microsoft reinvents Massive Arrays of Idle Disks for Azure, 'cos IBM tape ain't enough

Redmond claims to be world’s biggest tape user, but wants a faster alternative for AI data

SAP 404s blog post that said it's fallen behind on SaaS subs

Partner-penned post said SAP might be as good as Google or IBM ... one day

IBM's Watson Health wing left looking poorly after 'massive' layoffs

Up to 70% of staff shown the door this week, insiders claim

IBM wins five-year whole-of-government deal with Australia

Government trumpets savings, Big Blue trumpets quantum blockchain innovation revolution

Reel talk: You know what's safely offline? Tape. Data protection outfit Veeam inks deal with Quantum

Magnetic strips barrier to ransomware, burble box-flingers

Sputtering bit-blasters! IBM's just claimed densest tape ever record

Yes, again. Sony – thank you for the tape you gave to me

IBM Cloud TITSUP: Techies investigate troubling storage underperformance

Updated It took 6 hours to realise certain Big Blue storage fluff had KO'd

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

Risk of ‘financial and reputational damage’ is too high, says CISO

IBM Australia to end on-shore software support

Technology Support Services has no global follow-the-sun support model, rates lack of one a ‘serious problem’ in Oz