International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript — The Motley Fool

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International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM)
Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call
July 18, 2018, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Welcome, and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. Now I will turn the meeting over to Ms. Patricia Murphy with IBM. Ma’am, you may begin.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thank you. This is Patricia Murphy, Vice President of Investor Relations for IBM, and I’d like to welcome you to our second quarter earnings presentation. I’m here today with Jim Kavanaugh, IBM’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Our prepared remarks will be available within a couple of hours, and a replay of the webcast will be posted by this time tomorrow.

I’ll also remind you that certain comments made in this presentation may be characterized as forward looking under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Additional information concerning these factors is contained in the company’s filings with the SEC. Copies are available from the SEC, from the IBM web site, or from us in Investor Relations.

Our presentation also includes certain non-GAAP financial measures, in an effort to provide additional information to investors. All non-GAAP measures have been reconciled to their related GAAP measures in accordance with SEC rules. You will find reconciliation charts at the end of the presentation, and in the Form 8-K submitted to the SEC.

So, with that, I’ll turn the call over to Jim.

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks Patricia, and thanks to all of you for joining us.

In the second quarter, we delivered $20 billion of revenue, $3.4 billion of operating pre-tax income, and $3.08 of operating earnings per share. Overall, it was a good quarter. We grew revenue, operating gross profit, pre-tax income, and earnings per share, with strong pre-tax margin performance. Our revenue was up 4% as reported, with growth in all four of our major segments, and our constant currency revenue growth was 2%. This is our best constant currency growth in 7 years. And our pre-tax income was up 11%, reflecting good operating leverage on net revenue growth.

Looking at our performance at constant currency, the revenue trajectory improved in both services segments, and both returned to modest growth. This is important to our overall revenue growth profile, as services represents about 60% of our revenue on an annual basis.

In Cognitive, we had good performance in analytics, and in our industry verticals driven by financial services and IoT. Growth was mitigated by the same three areas I told you about on our last call, as we continue to focus on repositioning these offerings. And we had strong performance and gained share in our Systems business, which was up over 20% with growth across all three hardware platforms.

Across our segments, we had continued momentum in our strategic imperatives revenue. Over the last twelve months, our strategic imperatives revenue has grown to $39 billion, which represents 48% of IBM’s revenue. And within that, cloud is now $18.5 billion.

Our strategic imperatives revenue in the quarter was up 15%, and accelerated to 13% at constant currency. Revenue performance this quarter was led by Security and Cloud. Security was up about 80% this quarter, driven by strong demand for the pervasive encryption of IBM Z and growth in our integrated software and services business.

Cloud revenue was up 20%, or 18% at constant currency, driven by our as-a-service offerings. We’re exiting the second quarter with an as-a-service annual run rate of over $11 billion, which is up about 25%. This reflects our success in helping enterprise clients with their journey to the cloud and we’re becoming the destination for mission-critical workloads in hybrid environments. We’re capturing this high-value growth with our unique differentiation of innovative technology combined with deep industry expertise, underpinned with trust and security all through our integrated model.

You saw that this quarter in a long-term partnership with the Australian government valued at about $740 million to automate and digitize government services, leveraging IBM’s systems, software and cloud-based solutions. We expanded our work at Crédit Mutuel, who is using the IBM Cloud, security, IBM Z, and Watson to drive its next wave of transformation across its business lines. We delivered the world’s most powerful supercomputer to the U.S. Department of Energy. We had competitive cloud wins at leading companies like ExxonMobil, Amtrak, and Telefónica de España.

We signed a deal with Anthem, where we’ll help them drive their digital transformation to deliver an enhanced digital experience for millions of health plan consumers. And in total, we signed 13 services deals over $100 million this quarter. These are just a few of the new client engagements that will play out over the coming quarters and years, and putting this together with our first half performance, we continue to expect to deliver at least $13.80 of operating earnings per share for the year.

Before getting into the detailed financial metrics, I want to provide a perspective on the drivers of our operating earnings-per-share growth for the quarter. What it shows is we delivered 5% growth, despite a significant tax headwind. So, let me break it down.

Our 4% revenue growth contributed $0.10 of earnings-per-share growth at constant margin. We realized good pre-tax operating leverage on that revenue growth, with 11% growth in pre-tax income, and we expanded our pre-tax margin by 110 basis points. About two-thirds of that pre-tax income growth came from gross profit dollars, which were up 2%, driven by profit growth in Global Business Services and Systems.

Gross margin was down 60 basis points year-to-year. About half was due to mix and half from the continued investments we’ve been making to build out our IBM Cloud. Productivity was fairly neutral to the year-to-year gross margin dynamics in the quarter, and as we discussed last quarter, the benefit from actions we took earlier in the year will ramp up in the second half. The remaining third of the pre-tax income growth came from efficiencies we’ve been driving in our expense structure. And then, as I said, tax was a significant headwind, driven primarily by a discrete tax benefit last year.

Finally, a lower share count contributed to growth. Putting it all together, we delivered the 5% growth, with good contribution from revenue, pre-tax margin expansion, and to a lesser extent, share repurchases.

Looking at our key financial metrics, as I said, revenue is up 4%. Currency contributed 2 points, which is about half the contribution based on the spot rates at the time of our first quarter earnings call. And I’ll remind you, the significant volatility in currencies has implications across the income statement, not just revenue.

Constant currency revenue was up 2%, which is essentially all organic. I’ll talk to revenue on a constant currency basis going forward. Our revenue growth was broad based across geographies and sectors. We had growth in more than 60 countries, representing over 80% of IBM’s revenue. EMEA growth accelerated to 4$, led by Germany, the U.K., France and Spain, with pervasive growth across business areas.

Looking at our operating pre-tax income growth of 11%, I said that about one-third of that was from operating expense, which was better by 2%. This includes a 2-point impact from currency, which is significantly less than the first quarter impact due to the dollar strengthening. And so our base expense was better by 4%.

As we continue to invest to build our innovation pipeline in areas like AI, and security and blockchain, we’re also realizing acquisition synergies and driving operational efficiencies by streamlining our management system, scaling Agile, and implementing new ways of working. I talked about some of these in our webcast back in March, and we’re seeing the benefit not only in improved speed and responsiveness, but also in a more efficient structure.

Within expense, we also absorbed a lower level of IP income which was down $115 million year-to-year in the quarter, and about $240 million in the first half. Our operating tax rate of 16% was up nearly 7 points, with just over a point from the underlying rate, and the balance from last year’s discrete tax benefits of $170 million.

Looking at the cash metrics, we generated $1.9 billion of free cash flow in the quarter, and $3.2 billion in the first half, which is down $400 million year-to-year. Our solid working capital performance was more than offset by a cash tax headwind and growth in capital investment, consistent with what we discussed earlier in the year. Remember, there’s a lot of seasonality in our cash generation, and over the last 12 months we’ve generated $12.6 billion, that’s 111% of GAAP net income.

Now, turning to our segments. Cognitive Solutions had $4.6 billion of revenue, which was down 1% at constant currency. We had continued growth in our as-a-service revenue, exiting the quarter with an annualized run rate of $2 billion. Within Solution software, we’re scaling new platforms and solutions, with growth in several key areas. I’ll name a few.

Growth in our underlying analytics platform was led by the DB2 portfolio, our data science offerings, and our new IBM Cloud Private for Data offering, which makes data ready for AI across all clouds.

In our Watson platform, the AI platform for business, growth reflects strong demand for our new virtual assistant offering with triple-digit growth in our conversation service usage. Clients using Watson Assistant include Bradesco, Orange Bank, Autodesk, Royal Bank of Scotland, Vodafone, and LivePerson, to name a few. Watson is both a platform on its own and a driver of growth and differentiation in several of our industry verticals.

Our industry verticals continue to scale, led by IoT and Watson for Financial Services. IoT growth was driven by Maximo, which is the No. 1 asset management solution, and Tririga, the No. 1 facilities management solution. Financial Services reflects strong performance in our Risk and Regulatory business and Financial Crimes portfolio, leveraging our Promontory skills and AI technologies. In Watson Health, we had good performance in areas like Payer and Life Sciences. And in emerging areas like blockchain, we’ve now seeded the market with over 60 active blockchain networks.

This quarter we launched We.trade with 9 large banks, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC and Natixis. This is the first live blockchain-based, bank-to-bank trading platform. Growth in these areas is offset by a transition in some areas I talked about in April, specifically talent, collaboration and commerce, which today are a combination of on-prem and SaaS offerings. We are modernizing our offerings and making investments to address the secular shifts in the market. Keep in mind, the time to value of these investments is longer in SaaS.

Our Transaction Processing Software was down 2%, driven by declines in storage software. Within TPS, we had growth in IBM Z middleware and Power middleware. Looking at profit this quarter, we grew pre-tax income 9% and expanded pre-tax margin by over 2 points year-to-year, driven by operational efficiencies and acquisition synergies, while continuing to invest at high levels in key strategic areas such as AI, Security and blockchain.

Before getting into Global Business Services, let me give you a perspective on our total services business, across the two segments. We continue to make good progress. Our services signings grew, the year-to-year services backlog trajectory improved from last quarter, services revenue returned to growth, and we had a modest improvement in the year-to-year services gross margin trajectory.

Our signings were up 6%, and within that, we had 13 deals over $100 million. So, we’re clearly winning in a competitive environment. We’re addressing the fundamental shifts in the industry, like helping clients implement hybrid cloud, and managed security services. This is driving a shift in our backlog content, with nearly 30% of our outsourcing backlog now in Cloud. And then looking at the services gross margin, it was down just 25 basis points year-to-year. I’ll remind you again that we have most of the benefits from the first quarter productivity actions still ahead of us.

So now let’s get into the two segments. Global Business Services returned to modest revenue growth, increased gross profit dollars, and expanded gross margin. We’re realizing the improved revenue trajectory from the run-out of our opening backlog for the year. Our Strategic Imperatives revenue grew 6% with strong performance in the as-a-service offerings, which were up 25%.

We have talked about how we have realigned our practice model around three growth platforms — Digital Transformation, Cloud Application and Cognitive Processes. While all are progressing, we have particular strength in Digital, which again grew strong double digits. This was driven by Digital Business Strategy and by our mobile offerings.

Across these platforms, Consulting revenue growth accelerated to 4% year-to-year, led by our offerings in Digital and Cloud. Our GBS Consulting practice brings business expertise together with technology expertise to unlock value for our clients. For example, this quarter, IBM Digital and Mediaocean launched a blockchain consortium comprised of leading advertisers and publishers, including Kellogg, Unilever, Kimberly Clark, and Pfizer, to set the new industry standard for the digital ad-buying ecosystem.

We’re continuing to invest, recently announcing the acquisition of Oniqua Holdings, which adds technology and professional expertise in asset optimization. This strengthens our integrated IoT platform across Cognitive Solutions and GBS.

Application Management Services revenue was down 3%, reflecting continued declines in traditional Enterprise Application managed services. We’re growing in strategic offerings like Cloud Migration Factory and Cloud Application Development. The increased demand in these areas has led to two consecutive quarters of double-digit signings growth in Application Management.

Turning to gross profit, GBS’ gross margin grew 130 basis points year to year. We have done a lot of work to transform our portfolio and reposition our offerings to capture improved price for value, and we are also starting to see early contributions from our productivity actions around labor models and structure.

In summary, GBS delivered a solid quarter and we are starting to see the realization of our initiatives in our results.

In Technology Services and Cloud Platforms, revenue returned to growth. Similar to GBS, this performance was driven primarily by our improved opening backlog run-out dynamics. The strategic imperatives revenue in the segment grew 24%. This was led by Cloud, which grew 27% and our as-a-service revenue grew 30%, which is up about 6 points sequentially and is now at an annualized run rate of $7.6 billion.

Infrastructure Services revenue growth improved to 1% this quarter, as we continue to help clients on their journey to cloud. The IBM Cloud enables clients to migrate, modernize and build new cloud apps, is AI-ready, and secure to the core. This quarter we completed the migration of Westpac’s core banking applications to the IBM Cloud. It’s just one example of how we’re becoming the go-to destination for mission-critical workloads on the cloud.

We’re continuing to build capabilities, recently announcing an expansion to 18 availability zones for the IBM Cloud across the world. The expanded global footprint is important as clients look to maintain control of their data as they implement hybrid, especially given the increased data regulations.

In Technical Support Services, revenue was down 4%. As is always the case with a Z launch, we’re seeing a short-term impact in our maintenance stream, as IBM Z sales move clients from maintenance to warranty for the first year. The impact to maintenance is becoming more pronounced now, with the higher adoption rates by existing clients in the strong current Z cycle. This impact was moderated by continued growth in our multi-vendor support offerings.

Integration Software grew 1%. We had good performance in offerings that modernize applications and enable cloud adoption. This includes offerings like IBM Cloud Private, which helps clients to develop cloud native applications behind their firewall. We’ve added 100 new clients in the second quarter, and now have over 300 clients since the product was announced at the end of last year.

Turning to gross profit, margin for the segment was down a point from last year. The majority of this decline was driven by the revenue mix away from higher margin TSS in the quarter, with the remainder driven by the continued scale out of our Cloud. We did have some productivity benefits, but as I said earlier, the actions we took in the first quarter will yield predominantly in the back half of the year.

In Systems, we grew revenue again, as we continue to deliver innovative technologies that address today’s most contemporary workloads. All three brands, IBM Z, Power, and Storage grew, and we gained share overall. In the second quarter, IBM Z grew revenues by 112% year-to-year on nearly 200% MIPs growth, again driven by new workload MIPs. The Z14 adoption remained broad-based, and after four quarters, continues to track ahead of the prior program. The value prop benefits existing IBM Z clients who are growing and expanding workloads on Z14 this quarter, whether it’s eCommerce sales, mobile banking volumes, machine learning, or emerging blockchain services. And we’re adding new clients from all corners of the globe, from a managed care provider in the U.S., to a university in Canada, to an electronics distributor in Italy, to a bank in Africa. We also had good acceptance of our new single-frame Z14 designed specifically for cloud environments, which launched earlier in the quarter.

Power revenue was up 4% driven by adoption of our new POWER9 entry level portfolio, and continued growth in Linux. These cloud-ready systems provide leadership capabilities in advanced analytics, cloud environments and data intensive workloads in AI, HANA, and UNIX markets. We continued to roll-out our supercomputers at the U.S. Department of Energy labs. As a part of our deployment, the U.S. government recently unveiled POWER9-based Summit, the world’s most powerful supercomputer, which is ranked No. 1 in the TOP 500 list of commercially available computers. This is the first time in over 5 years that a U.S. company topped the list.

Storage hardware returned to growth this quarter, after facing some sales execution challenges in a competitive market last quarter. This growth was broad-based geographically, and led by strong growth in All Flash Arrays. Flash grew double digits across the portfolio, and took share. We are coming out with new offerings, including a new mid-range FlashSystem announced last week, with industry-leading performance technology.

Turning to profit, Systems pre-tax income was up about $275 million year to year, and pre-tax margin was up over 10 points, so solid performance.

Moving on to cash flow and the balance sheet, in the second quarter we generated $2.9 billion of cash from operations excluding our financing receivables, and $1.9 billion of free cash flow. And, so, in the first half, we generated $3.2 billion of free cash flow, which is down $400 million from last year. This reflects solid working capital performance, offset by a $300 million increase in capex as we build out global cloud data centers, and $700 million more of cash tax payments. We’ve now got the entire cash tax headwind that we expect for the year behind us.

Looking at uses of cash for the half, we’ve returned $4.6 billion to our shareholders. In April, we again raised our dividend, and with that we’ve now tripled our dividend per share over the last decade. In the first half, we bought back nearly 12 million shares, ending June with 913 million shares outstanding and $2 billion remaining in our buyback authorization.

Looking at the balance sheet highlights, our cash and total debt levels are pretty consistent with last June. About two-thirds of our debt supports our financing business, which is leveraged at 9 to 1, and the majority of our financing receivables, 54%, are at investment grade, which is 2 points better than this time last year. So, our balance sheet remains strong, with plenty of flexibility to support our investments and shareholder returns over the longer term.

In summary, our performance this quarter underscores the extent to which we have repositioned our business over the last several years. As I said, nearly half of our revenue is aligned to the strategic imperatives, which represent the emerging, high-value, high-growth segments in our industry. This also reflects a major portfolio shift for IBM, driven, as we discussed at our investor webcast in March, by major shifts in our capital allocation and investment strategy.

Those shifts reflect our vision of what clients would value in a rapidly reordering IT industry, driven by Cloud, Data, and AI. And that is innovative technology in key emerging areas, the expertise to apply that technology in industry-specific processes and workflows, and a commitment that their enterprise data would be handled responsibly. This is IBM’s differentiation, and we’re seeing it come through in our revenue and profit performance.

This quarter, we delivered 2% constant currency revenue growth, 11% operating pre-tax income growth, and 5% earnings-per-share growth, capping off a first half where we also grew revenue, operating profit, and earnings per share.

As always, we have some tailwinds and headwinds as we move into the second half, but with this performance, and our continued focus on driving consistent operational execution, we continue to expect to deliver at least $13.80 of operating earnings per share, and free cash flow in the range of $12 billion.

And with that, let me turn it back to Patricia for Q&A.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thank you, Jim. Before we begin the Q&A, I’d like to mention a couple of items. First, we have supplemental charts at the end of the slide deck that provide additional information on the quarter. And second, as always, I’d ask you to refrain from multi-part questions.

So, operator, let’s please open it up for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session of today’s conference. If you would like to ask a question, please press * followed by the number 1. Our first question comes from Wamsi Mohan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Please go ahead.

Wamsi MohanBank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Yes, thank you. Jim, you saw some constant currency deceleration in Cognitive revenues but PTI margins improved nicely. You alluded to a few factors in there. I was wondering if you could provide some more granularity on the drivers of that PTI margin expansion between the operational efficiencies, the acquisition synergies that you alluded to [inaudible] investments, and second, your base expanse decline was quite significant in the quarter. Can you talk about the trajectory of that in the second half, especially given some of the cost actions that you said are yet to be reflected? The cost actions that you took in 1Q that have yet to be reflected in the back half. Thank you.

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Wamsi. Thank you very much for the question. Let me address the Cognitive Solutions segment first and talk about constant currency and then get to the operating leverage component. Then I’ll address your expense question next. Cognitive Solutions, first of all, as you all know, our financial model for the Cognitive Solutions segment is to deliver growth and also deliver operating leverage consistent with that growth. What we’ve been seeing over the last couple quarters as we’ve been driving the acquisition integration synergies across our business, we’ve been seeing that operating leverage well in advance of our actual revenue growth within that segment.

We’ve also been driving operational efficiencies and synergies around redefining how we do work, redefining development optimization, applying Agile methodologies, and getting better speed, responsiveness, cycle time, and throughput and output within our organization. So, we’re getting more value for dollar of spend overall. You see that play out in operating leverage in that segment in the first quarter and you’ve seen it play out in the second quarter, with strong profit growth of 9% on that constant currency revenue growth. So, we continue to expect that we move forward and we’ll continue to leverage and get value out of that business overall.

In terms of expense dynamics, you heard in the prepared remarks our operating expense was better by 2%. But there are many different components within that operating expense 2% better. First and foremost, currency had impacted our operating expense by 2 points. I will tell you that was about half of the impact or even a little bit less than half the impact than we expected 90 days ago, just given the volatility of what’s been happening in the FX markets, in particular around the U.S. dollar appreciation.

So, the last couple quarters, currency is impacted by expense by 4 to 5 points. Now, it was only a 2-point impact. So, our base productivity was about 4% better. That is being driven, as we continue to drive the operating leverage through our enterprise productivity initiatives around reinventing IBM and how we actually do work. Changing our management system, addressing our structure, attacking cost and complexity, aligning decision rights, and driving accountability.

So, that 4% is a base level of productivity that we’re driving and we expect that going forward. Then I’ll just add one other point. That is on IP income. You see through the second quarter our IP income was down by over $100 million, $115 million, I think to be exact. Through the first half, it’s down nearly $250 million overall. So, we continue to leverage and monetize the value of our research and development spending, and we continue to invest in those areas and we’ll opportunistically optimize that through many monetization models, but IP right now is down $115 million. When you bring all that together, it’s delivering substantial operating leverage to our business, as you see here in the second quarter.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thanks, Wamsi. Can we go to the next question, please, Anne?

Operator

Thank you. The next question comes from Steve Milunovich of UBS. Your line is now open.

Steven MilunovichUBS Securities — Analyst

Thank you very much. A fair amount of your growth in revenue and even pre-tax profit came from the hardware area. What are you expecting in second half mainframe compares? Are we going to be down year-over-year in the third and then down pretty severely in the fourth? And then just to follow up on your currency comments, I assume you’re losing about $2 billion of revenue in the second half relative to what you expected back in April. Have you taken actions to compensate for that to get to your $13.80, to get to your $12 billion of free cash flow?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Steve. Many questions there. Let me take each one individually. First of all, yes, we had a very strong systems quarter overall. Both on revenue and on operating leverage, where we grew pre-tax income over 10 points year-over-year. But let’s put the quarter in perspective. We delivered 4% revenue overall, 2% at constant currency. It was our strongest constant currency revenue growth rate in over 7 years. It was led by our continued acceleration and our strategic imperatives, which were up 15% at actual, 13% at constant currency. That was an acceleration from the first quarter and within that, our cloud business, $18.5 billion, up 23%.

Our adds to service annualized run rate now over $11 billion. That’s up 24%. Our services businesses returned back to growth at constant currency. Both GBS, which had a great quarter, and TS and CP. But even if you take our systems business into your question around mainframe, and if we take mainframe out, you would see those same dynamics in the quarter-to-quarter acceleration of our strategic imperative business and as you all know, in our adds to service acceleration of over $11 billion, growing 24%, that doesn’t have any systems business within it.

The last point I’ll bring up around top line and then I’ll get to your other questions, we had broad-based geographic and sector growth across our business. Probably the best breadth and growth across the number of countries that we’ve had in quite a period of time. 60+ countries grew at constant currency and that represented over 80% of IBM’s revenue.

If you extract out the mainframe cycle, we still had over 60 countries that actually grew. Those are large countries like Japan, like U.K., like Germany, France, Spain, Australia. Many which are not mainframe dominant. So, we see continued momentum. Now, with regards to mainframe. I’m not going to apologize. This is the most enduring platform that you’ve seen out there and we continue to capitalize on gaining new, emerging workloads onto that platform.

We delivered substantial growth in the second quarter, over 100% growth. We tripled our installed MIPs inventory that we ship. We’re capturing over 60% of that MIP ship is in specialty workloads. So, through the first four quarters — now is the pertinent time to have the discussion — through the first four quarters, we are well in advance of what the prior cycle was.

With regards to your question about second half, I would expect that to continue in the second half as we move forward. We know in the fourth quarter that we’ve got a tremendous compare and I talked about that 90 days ago. We will have an impact, but we’ve got momentum in our services businesses returning the growth and, as you know, that’s 60% of our business overall.

Now, with regards to currency. I’m glad you brought that up. We’ve seen dramatic volatility over the last 90 days since our last earnings call. To put it in perspective, we had stated here 90 days ago that we expected about a 4-point tailwind in the second quarter coming off of a 5-patient tailwind in the first quarter and you see that only ended up being a little bit over 2 points of a tailwind in the second quarter, as the U.S. dollar appreciated significantly against most currencies.

Now, when we look at the second half, we see about a 1 to 2-point headwind. Currency will flip. That’s about somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion, including second quarter’s $400 million that I talked about. Now, with that said, currency, you understand the top line dynamic of revenue. But currency also impacts margins, and they impact expense. From a margin perspective, if you look at, we’ve got two different businesses. We’ve got product-based businesses and we’ve got services-based businesses. On product-based businesses, you don’t have a direct alignment of your sources of revenue and your sources of cost. So, that translation revenue impact that you see in our product-based businesses, the hardware, software, and services, you will see a gross margin impact on that at the GP line.

Services where you have a much more alignment of source of revenue and cost, you have basically a natural hedge. You won’t see a gross profit impact on that revenue translation. But as you all know, we drive a hedging program to mitigate the foreign exchange volatility at a profit level. Why? Because it gives us time to adjust our pricing terms, our structure, and our sourcing strategies. So, at a PTI level, you see a very de minimis impact in period. Hedging doesn’t eliminate, it only defers it. But at a profit level, it’s a very de minimis impact, but it impacts the P&L differently as we move forward.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Okay, Steve. Let’s go to the next question, please.

Operator

The next question comes from Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley. Your line is now open.

Katy Huberty Morgan Stanley — Managing Director of Research

Thank you. Good afternoon. Jim, as was mentioned in an earlier question, investors are certainly worried about the tougher comps in the back half of this year and the 2% growth was a nice surprise this quarter, but you’re not quite at consistent and meaningful growth across the businesses. And so my question is whether you and the rest of the management team would consider stepping up either M&A or divestitures to more meaningfully remix revenue and set the company on a path and a narrative around much more meaningful and sustainable growth?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Katy, thanks for the question overall. As you stated, we delivered a very solid quarter at 2% constant currency. I would tell you it’s our third straight quarter of growth overall with an acceleration in terms of breadth and depth across geographies, across sectors, and across countries around the world.

But let’s take a look at our portfolio. First and foremost, we are very confident in the portfolio lineup that we have here today around each of our segments. We talked about, at our investor day, the value differentiation of IBM. That value differentiation is built around innovative technology, around deep industry expertise, and around trust and security. All delivered through an integrated model.

If you take a look at it, we talked about the key value differentiators as we move forward. The value of bringing that together, I think you’re seeing substantiated now here in the second quarter, with very strong growth overall in our systems platform, in the importance they play to our infrastructure, in our integrated model. You see our services base of businesses continue that trajectory improvement that we talked about starting in January of this year. We improved in the first quarter and now we’ve got both businesses back to growth and we delivered double-digit signings at actual rates in the first half, which positions us well as we move forward.

But you know our motto overall, we’ve done a lot of work around remixing our capital and investments to build out the portfolio that we have today. We’re very disciplined in our capital allocation strategy. We said 70% to 80% of that capital and investment is going to go back to our shareholders in the form of share buy-back and dividend and you saw us raise our dividend here in April this year. Our 23rd straight year. But the remainder is for us to use internally to build out our differentiated capability around investments in R&D and capital to drive leadership in AI, leadership in blockchain, leadership in security, and leadership now in quantum as we move forward.

But acquisitions are an integral part. We’re going to continue to evaluate our portfolio and how we capitalize the value of those acquisitions in light of the integrated, differentiated strategy of the IBM company going forward.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thank you, Katy. Let’s go to the next question, please.

Operator

Our next question is from Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein. Your line is now open.

Toni SacconaghiBernstein — Analyst

Yes, thank you. I’m wondering if you could comment a little bit more about the dynamics affecting Cognitive Solutions’ revenue growth. It was down at constant currency versus a pretty easy comparison. It’s the business that has the highest percentage of strategic initiatives in it, so it’s obviously very important for you. Can you maybe comment specifically on what’s happening with Watson Health? There were lots of press reports about the significant retrenchment in that business.

And I know you said the acquisitions take time, but you’ve had them all for at least a year. And so maybe you can comment on why you think we haven’t seen better revenue progress or what specifically happened this quarter.

Then very quickly, if you could just confirm, you talked about flattish gross margins for the year. You’re down in each of the first two quarters year-over-year, so should we be expecting gross margins to be up about 50 basis points year-over-year in the second half to hit that bogey of flattish?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

All right, Toni. There’s a lot to be compacted in a multiple-part question. But let me try to address each piece. We’ll start with Cognitive. In terms of our Cognitive Solutions, we have a strong portfolio in the key strategic areas around analytics, around industry verticals, around security and around IoT and we continue to see good performance overall. But I’ll remind you, this portfolio is a high annuity content. Over 80% of the business is annuity, with strong renewal rates. We continue to drive but that SaaS has a longer time to value, a longer time to realization.

But let me unpack the segment because you’ve got to understand the piece parts, because they each fit different purposes within the overarching IBM strategy in purpose. One is around TPS. TPS declined 2% overall and it’s about what we would expect in this area. You’ve even commented on this the last couple quarters. We’ve been riding the wave of the mainframe product cycle over the last three quarters and saw pretty good growth that was unusual. Now, we’re back to down 2%. This is high-value, high-profit, strategically important to our clients overall, but it’s in stable to declining businesses and it wasn’t unexpected.

When you look at our software solution portfolio, we’ve got growth in analytics as we revamp that portfolio coming off of a pretty disappointing fourth quarter. We grew in first quarter, we great again in second, and we got good, double-digit growth in our industry verticals like financial services and IoT and we’re seeing good growth in Watson Health. We’ve got growth in Life Sciences segment, Imaging, Payer, and we’re seeing good SaaS signings in our Government segments within that business.

Yes, we are driving acquisition synergies and you’re seeing that play out. It’s well in advance of a year. And you’re seeing net operating leverage play out well in advance of our financial model around Cognitive Solutions. So, transaction processing software pretty much as expected, high-value based markets, software solutions, the key strategic areas that we have are growing. The focus that we’ve got, and we talked about this 90 days ago, are in three key segments around talent, around collaboration, and around commerce, where we are investing to modernize our portfolio to address the secular shifts that are happening in both client value and in consumption models.

As you know, this business today in these three segments are both a mixture of on-prem and SaaS. We are investing aggressively to revitalize this portfolio into a SaaS world around driving user interface improvements to make our offerings more digitally consumable, and also about shifting and investing to embed AI to deliver differentiated value for our clients overall. So, that’s Cognitive Solutions.

Now, you asked about gross profit margins. So, let me take a step back and give you my perspective. Now that I’ve been on the job six months as CFO of IBM and I’ve spent a lot of time with our investors and also with many of you, the sell-side analysts, listening and also getting a perspective of our company, the sentiment, and the strategic positioning and what you would like to see. In each of those inevitably, the discussion around margin comes up. Why? Because yes, we are a value-based stock. Our investment thesis is around value. Value driving profit growth at the end of the day that gives us the free cash flow flexibility to continue to return value to our shareholders and invest in our business.

But the discussion around gross profit margins always inevitably get at Services. Is Services deflationary and can you grow Services margins? I would tell you I think that’s at the heart of your question around gross profit. I’ll answer it in a couple ways. One, talking about our financial model, and two, talking about how we manage the business. But before I get into that, first and foremost, the net answer is as I stated 90 days ago, we expect our Services gross margin to expand in the second half and we still feel confident coming off of the trajectory improvement of what we saw in the second quarter really led by strong margin expansion in our GBS business and the productivity actions we have in front of us.

But when you look at this from an overall IBM perspective, our financial model, as we talked about, is low single-digit revenue growth, mid single-digit profit growth, and high single-digit EPS growth. In 2Q, you saw the instantiation of delivering that model. We grew revenue. We had PTI margin expansion of 110 basis points; the strongest we’ve had in years. And we drove operating leverage to deliver 11% profit growth, well in excess of our model.

So, for a full-year perspective, our view at an operating level in terms of profit growth has not changed. We’re going to grow profit, we’re going to grow PTI margins, and that supports our full-year guidance.

Now, let’s talk about how we manage the business. Because I think it’s important for our investors and it’s important for each of you as analysts to understand this. No. 1, we got two distinct, different business models in our company. We got a product-based business model and we got a services-based business model. In a product-based business model, hardware, software and solutions, value is instantiated in delivering returns at a PTI level. Why? Because all the investment we make in a product-based business ends up below the gross profit margin line. And you see in our product-based business systems and Cognitive Solutions, we’re growing substantial operating leverage and we’re growing substantial return on investment.

Now, in services, as I said 90 days ago, in a human capital-based business, value is instantiated in gross profit margins. We manage our services business to get a return on our human capital at the gross profit level. As I said, as a gross profit level in services, we still expect to expand margins in the second half. The only thing that has changed in the last 90 days has been the extreme volatility in the FX world around the U.S. dollar appreciation. As I stated earlier, we have a hedging policy that mitigates the volatility of currency inter-IME at a profit level, but it does impact gross margins, in particular at a product level in our product-based businesses. It does not impact profit in the near-term. It allows you time to then go adjust your pricing terms, your cost structure, and your sourcing strategies as we move forward.

So, that’s the only thing that’s changed in the last 90 days. We feel confident we’re going to grow revenue for the year at current spot rates, even in light of currency flipping to a headwind in the second half. We feel confident we’re going to expand pre-tax margins similar to what we did in the second half. Within that, we feel confident we’re actually going to deliver services gross profit margin expansion in the second half of the year.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thanks, Toni. Ann, can we please take the next question?

Operator

The next question comes from the line of Tien Tsin Huang of J.P. Morgan. Your line is now open.

Tien Tsin HuangJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

Thanks so much. Yeah, so consulting accelerated, which is encouraging. I’m curious, is that starting to pull in some other services revenue around it or behind it? I saw or you mentioned the [inaudible] were good again. So again, was it enough to drive positive effects mutual revenue growth in services for the second half? I’m just trying to piece all of those things together and think about [inaudible] revenue growth for services overall in the second half.

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, if you take a look at GBS in second quarter, first of all, we’re very pleased with our performance. The work that Mark and the team have done tirelessly to transform our structure, our business models, our growth platforms, the set of initiatives around productivity, we’re very pleased. You saw that play out in continued trajectory improvement throughout the first half, returning to modest revenue growth and significant operating leverage and margin expansion, which we expect will be a big contributor in our second half services margin expansion that we talked about in the last question.

Now, with that said, if you look at that acceleration and what’s been happening in the trajectory of our services business, first, as you all understand the dynamics of that business, you have to get signings that have to yield into backlog, which has to yield into revenue as we move forward. We’re seeing tremendous momentum in our consulting base of business. We delivered 4% revenue growth as you stated in the second quarter, and that’s leveraging momentum around how we redesign our growth platforms and how we resign our service lines and offerings and practices. We’re capturing higher value. Value around digital transformation offerings that enable clients to move their journey to the cloud as we move forward. We’re doing great in our CRM practice, our workday practice, and we’re also capturing new emerging areas like blockchain, where we’re seeing good growth in our services base of business.

As you know and we talked about extensively at our investor webcast in the beginning of the year, GBS has a very integral part in an integrated model strategy in the IBM company. They have the mission of bringing business and technology transformation together. So, the long answer to your question around is consulting in GBS a key leading indicator of dragging the rest of IBM? The answer is definitely yes.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thanks, Tien Tsin. Can we please take the next question?

Operator

The next question comes from Jim Schneider of Goldman Sachs. Your line is now open.

Jim SchneiderGoldman Sachs — Analyst

Good afternoon. Thanks for taking my question. I was wondering if you could maybe follow up on that prior question and talk about the ability of the tech services and cloud platform segment to start to return a growth in the back half. Clearly, we’re starting to get a little bit better signings performance, but I’m wondering if that’s a realistic expectation for that segment and whether you can achieve it at the same time as you’re expanding margins there?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Jim. Good to talk to you again. Thanks for the question. Yes, on TS and CP, similar to our discussion around GBS, we’re pleased with the trajectory improvement and the progress that we’ve been making within this business on the top line throughout the first half. We made sequential progress quarter-to-quarter. We have now returned to growth, delivering $8.6 billion of revenue.

Let’s talk about a couple of the key components. First, we are capitalizing on tremendous momentum around enterprise hybrid cloud strategy. We are becoming the destination of moving and enabling our clients’ journey to the cloud. Our GBS business is an instrumental part of that strategy as we move forward. So, we’ve got a lot of momentum in our enterprise hybrid cloud. That, as you see, is delivering an as-a-service annualized run rate of $7.6 billion. That’s up 30% year-to-year. That has tremendous value as we move forward to continue getting scale efficiencies and the like.

But let’s talk about then the core GBS business overall. If infrastructure services return to growth, 1% in the growth, and it’s really been built off of a very strong first half where we delivered double-digit signings growth at the GBS and TS and CP segment level and now, you saw our backlog continues to improve. Our backlog now in total is $116 billion. Within that, 30% of that backlog now is cloud, as we continue to capitalize on the secular shift and deliver more and more value overall.

Our integration software business has grown 1% and continues to grow through the first half. What we’ve got to work on, and this is part of having an integrated portfolio and part of having success in other areas, our TSS business is down 4%, but that’s a function of us significantly overachieving against our last program, our mainframe product cycles. We see a deceleration in TSS, but we’re seeing the offset in our systems base of business going forward.

So, when you look at that trajectory improvement, we returned our backlog back to flat in the second quarter in TS and CP. And again, a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve got to fuel second half signings. We’ve got a good opportunity pipeline, but I see continued trajectory improvement and then our focus on margins as we move forward in the second half to deliver second half services gross profit margin expansion are going to be critical to our guidance.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thanks, Jim. Can we go to the next question, please?

Operator

The next question comes from David Grossman of Stifel Financial. Your line is now open.

David GrossmanStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

Thank you. Hi, Jim. This year, you’re guiding to free cash flow roughly equal to net income, which is above your longer-term target. I know it’s way too early to providing 2019 insight; however, are there are factors that are driving the ’18 free cash flow that may not reoccur next year or even potentially reverse that we should be factoring into our thinking for next year?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, David. Thank you very much and good to hear from you again. Before I get to the long-term view, I mean I think you kind of nailed it. Let’s talk about our free cash flow guidance here through the second quarter and more importantly, through the first half. First of all, we talked about entering the year that we expected $12 billion of free cash flow. That was down about $1 billion. If you remember, at that point in time, we talked about we were going to continue to invest in our business in terms of capital, to build out our IBM cloud architecture, and oh, by the way, in the second quarter, I think you have seen the announcement where we expanded 18 new availability zones around the world, so we are committed to winning in the cloud space and we’re investing to go do that. But we also said we were going to have a significant cash tax headwind here in 2018. Then our GAAP profit, as we start turning this business and deliver on our at least $13.80, was going to pretty much offset our strong working capital efficiency that we exited last year with our mainframe cycle.

So, through the first half, we delivered $3.2 billion of free cash flow. That’s down $400 million. It’s important to understand the underpinnings behind that. Within that, we’ve invested $300 million year-to-year, up 20% on capital already through the first half. We’ve had strong operational after-tax profit performance that delivered a positive contribution of $600 million to support that investment in capital as we move forward. So, when you do the net then, our entire year-to-year reduction through the first half is all driven by cash tax headwind. That cash tax headwind is $700 million through the first half and it’s all behind us now.

So, our second half free cash flow, to your point, we’ve always said as a rule of thumb, free cash flow should follow our profit levels. When you look at our realization, you see it playing out in our realization. We’re well in excess of 100%. Our trailing 12 months is at $12.6 billion and our attainment supports that $12 billion free cash flow level as we move forward.

So, it’s too early to look at ’19. We’ll deliver that in January. But at least hopefully the answer gives you some of the dynamics of what’s playing out in free cash flow.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Thanks, David. Ann, can we please take the next question?

Operator

The next question comes from Keith Beckman of Bank of Montreal. Your line is now open.

Keith BeckmanBank of Montreal — Analyst

Thank you very much. Jim, I wanted to see if you could talk a little bit about the durability of services. You’ve talked about GBS and technology and cloud outsourcing growing constant currency in the second half of the year, yet backlog, total services backlog is down 1% in constant currency. So, once you recheck growth, are you still calling for durable growth in those businesses, even with backlog down? Then my follow-up — well, let me ask my follow-up question after that.

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No, why don’t you ask your follow-up question now.

Keith BeckmanBank of Montreal — Analyst

Well, just within GBS. Something I wanted to come back to, application management is still under pressure, as it is for most of the providers. Is that going to continue within the context of GBS or you actually see application management within the confines of GBS improving?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay, Keith. So, thank you very much for just getting it all and giving me a better perspective of the entirety of your multiple-part questions so we can put this in perspective. So, let’s talk about, I’ll drive you back to 180 days ago, when we were sitting here in January. We talked about the position where we were at. We talked about what’s going on with the dynamics of our backlog overall, and we talked about the backlog realization and runout that we saw over the 2018 period.

We said entering 2018, that we had much stronger backlog realization or runout, I should say, we that were starting with than we did entering 2017. You’re seeing that play out as we go through the first half, where we made sequential year-to-year improvement over the first quarter and now we turn both of our services businesses back to growth.

Now, within that, as we stated earlier, in a human capital-based services business, you’ve got to continue fueling those signings that delivers backlog. And more importantly, you’ve got to drive the right composition of backlog that drives your backlog realization in yield, and also drives duration. Obviously, what you’re seeing over time is you’re seeing, I think, a secular shift with regard to what’s happening to duration and long-term contracts. You’re not seeing that anymore.

So, we’re getting higher yielding revenue. We’re also, the composition of our backlog with consulting, which accelerated to 4%, that composition is much more shorter term and higher value as we move forward. So, over the long run, you’re right. You’ve got to continue to fuel signings to fuel that backlog, but I would tell you, outer years of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, in today’s world are much less relevant than an in period your first year, your second year, your third year in the composition.

So, we do feel confident with that trajectory improvement. We came off the first half delivering good growth, double-digits and signings in the first half, and the composition of those signings, as I said, we already have 30% of our backlog that’s sitting in cloud. By the way, over 40% of our backlog is now in key, strategic, imperative workloads overall. So, that’s kind of your first question.

Your second question, AMS. We talked about AMS. Obviously, that’s going through a secular shift in the industry. You’re seeing that play out against all the competitors that are in the space today. But I would tell you what differentiates IBM with regards to AMS? One, it’s our value of incumbency. The integrated play, the integrated model of IBM, the value of incumbency and the reason we’re in the AMS business is we understand our clients’ operating models, our client’s workloads, and our clients’ business processes. We said entering this year that we were seeing success in us leveraging that value of incumbency to be the destination to help our clients with the journey to the cloud and move to the cloud.

We’re seeing that play out in the first half. We’re not only in the first quarter, but also in the second quarter we had double-digit signings growth in our AMS business over time. Again, backlog yes is still down overall. Our revenue is down 3%, but we see this inflection point as we move forward and we continue to leverage and deliver that value for our clients as they move on their journey overall.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Let’s go to the next question, please.

Operator

The next question comes from Jim Suba of Citibank. Your line is now open.

Jim Suba Citibank — Analyst

Thanks very much. Jim, I just have one question for you. As you sit there in the CFO seat and you’re calling now for margins to accelerate or improve or expand year-over-year in the second half of the year, what are the milestones that are hitting that kind of make you call that out? The happiness behind it, the confidence. What’s the milestones that we can look back and say that made a lot of sense and it has long-term durability to it? Thank you.

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Jim, thank you very much for the question. It’s a good question overall. If you take a look at it, I’ve said from January, we obviously have multiple scenarios. How do we make at least $13.80? What I looked at and the team, and the entire management team looks at is the trajectory of our business, the operational indices, and the drivers as we see going forward of headwinds and tailwinds on that guidance for our shareholders of at least $13.80.

But when you take a look at revenue growth, I said we would have revenue growth at current spot rates for the full year, and that we would have pre-tax operating margin expansion and operating leverage in our business. So, to your question, what do we look at and what are the trends that are driving that? So, let’s unpack it. I’ve talked about this the last couple calls. The way I look at margin expansion really centers around three or four major areas.

No. 1, margin expansion is going to be delivered through us continuing to leverage the momentum in our enterprise cloud and our as-a-service-based business. Why? Because it’s going to generate scale efficiencies for us to deliver on what we said at our investor day, which is margin accretion as we move through to the cloud. So, scale efficiencies, we are seeing that improvement in the first quarter. We’re seeing improvement in the second quarter, and it’s all being built off of the momentum around our cloud and our as-a-service-based business.

Second, we talk about mix. Mix being another lever. So, you look at the mix of one within each of our segments and how we’re shifting to higher value, which we’re making good progress. The best instantiation of that is GBS, where they’re getting better price realization and better value around remixing their offerings to sell better value. But also across segments, we have a big mix headwind as we talked about 90 days ago, with regard to the mainframe cycle. So, we take that into account.

The third bucket is around productivity. This is around how you transform the way you work. It’s predominantly led by our services-base of business. But it’s also about how we reinvent and how we run our company around our infrastructure and enterprise productivity. Both are giving us operating leverage as we move forward. We’re seeing the latter play out in our expense efficiency structure here in the second quarter and in our services-base of business, we talked about the work we’re doing around our workforce optimization, the significant actions we took in the first quarter. I said it’s predominantly the yield on that is in the second half. That should accelerate significantly.

But we’re also transforming the way we actually deliver service. Redesigning it, applying Agile methodologies, infusing AI and automation, and driving a differentiated value to our clients to improve the quality in addition to the efficiently and margin.

Finally, the last point, which given services is 60% of our business, human capital based business, you have to generate revenue to generate operating leverage. It’s tough generating operating leverage when revenue is down. We’re seeing, as that revenue trajectory improves and we’re seeing as we play out here in the second quarter returning services back to growth, that we’re going to get the operating leverage as we move forward. That’s what makes us confident in delivering at least $13.80.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Great, thanks. Ann, let’s take one last question, please.

Operator

The last question comes from Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets. Your line is now open.

Amit DaryananiRBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Thanks. Glad I made it under the line there. Maybe to start, cognitive revenue is down in constant currency in the quarter and really there’s some amount of transactional business there, but just help me understand what tempered the growth there and then do you think cognitive will actually grow in the back half of the year because your compares start to get fairly difficult in that business I think in the back half of the year.

And then, Jim, just on gross margins, what’s leading you to start talking about [inaudible] aggregate total IBM gross margins will be flat to stable and now it sounds like it’s on the in-services, so what’s the degradation in cognitive or systems that’s changing that statement on gross margins from a corporate level to only services now?

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay, so on each of them, Amit, first of all, thanks for getting into the queue. It’s good to hear from you again. But on each of these, I think I answered them already. But let me just give the synopsis. On cognitive, we talked about the different dynamics within our portfolio around TPS, which had been growing, leverage the mainframe cycle. Now, it’s more in line with what our expectations are. In solutions software, we’ve got strength in key strategic areas of our portfolio, analytics industry verticals, both FSS, in health, in security, in IoT, but we’ve got work to do on modernizing those key three segment areas of talent, collaboration, commerce. And that, as those secular shifts move much more aggressively to SaaS, that time to value gets realized over a longer period of time.

So, we do we strength in certain components. We’re making investments in others to transform, as I talked about, and modernize those offerings. That will play out over time. But with that said, we’ve done all the work and we’re driving the acquisition integration synergies, the operational efficiency savings. We feel confident even at this level of revenue we can drive operating leverage within that business.

Then finally, back to your question on margins. As I talked, first, I think the way we manage this business, value is instantiated in the services-base business in gross profit margin. Value is instantiated in the product-based business in pre-tax income because you’ve got to recoup the return on investment of your go-to-market and your development. So, I would not say I’m changing. I would say our operating view of the year of our financial model of revenue growth, of profit growth, of earnings per share, is exactly the same. The only thing that’s different within that is the FX change in the last 90 days, with the significant U.S. dollar appreciation.

Now, we hedge. We hedge that mitigates that profit variability. But when you look at currency around the element of the I&E, you see how it plays out differently. That transparency and credibility is what I feel is important for you and investors to understand, but it has no impact on our bottom line profit contribution and our delivery of our free cash flow and our at least $13.80 for the year. So, thank you, Amit.

With that said, let me wrap up the call where I started by saying this was a good quarter. We’re pleased. We had solid revenue growth and profit performance. This reflects the work we’ve been doing to reposition our business in terms of our offerings, our people, the way we work, and reinventing IBM. Now, as always, there’s more work to do. I look forward to continuing the dialog over the course of the year. Thank you all for joining us on the call here this evening.

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Ann, I’m going to turn it back to you to close up the call.

Operator

Thank you for participating on today’s call. The conference is now ended. You may disconnect at this time.

Duration: 80 minutes

Call participants:

James J. KavanaughSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Patricia MurphyVice President of Investor Relations

Wamsi MohanBank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Steven MilunovichUBS Securities — Analyst

Katy Huberty Morgan Stanley — Managing Director of Research

Toni SacconaghiBernstein — Analyst

Tien Tsin HuangJ.P. Morgan — Analyst

Jim SchneiderGoldman Sachs — Analyst

David GrossmanStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

Keith BeckmanBank of Montreal — Analyst

Jim Suba Citibank — Analyst

Amit DaryananiRBC Capital Markets — Analyst

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