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Why IBM Stock Is More Attractive Without Cheap Servers

Last month's $2.3 billion deal to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo is bound to be good for IBM  (NYSE: IBM  )  stock, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Why? Low-end servers are a tough business, and x86 servers -- based on the famed Intel design but also made by Advanced Micro Devices -- had been the low-end of IBM's business where many customers buy on price.

More broadly, it's arguable whether there's much of a market for entry-level servers when so many of the largest users of x86 or similar servers build their own. Think of Google, which not only has its own designs but takes pride in making them as cheaply as possible. IBM was never going to have much success selling into those sorts of accounts.

Bigger deals may also be harder to come by. IBM's hardware sales plummeted 26% in the fourth quarter, perhaps because customers have taken to purchasing computing as a service via cloud operators such as's Web Services group and Rackspace Hosting.

Do you agree? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short IBM stock at current prices

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  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 2:11 AM, rhussein777 wrote:

    Good points since this hardware was dragging the "expectations" down and the market reacted to the lower revenue. We should see a decent uptick once the sale is completed and the revenue forecast updated to reflect the sale. Also, look for repurchase of shares; if IBM executes some major buybacks then we should see a solid price adjustment upwards.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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