Report: IBM Global Financing on Solid Ground

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Providers of IT financing have said that it is business as usual in terms of providing credit for corporate technology buying. IBM's recent quarterly report provided even more visibility into the IBM Global Financing arm.

In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, providers of credit and financing for technology purchases – distributors and the finance arms of technology vendors -- have said that in spite of what's going on elsewhere it's still business as usual when it comes to providing credit for IT deals.

IBM in particular, with its IBM Global Financing organization which has provided credit to the channel and technology end-customers for years, has said that its structure has insulated it from the troubles experienced by some lenders today.

The view into the internal workings of IGF got even clearer on Oct. 16 when IBM released its quarterly earnings and provided visibility into its captive finance unit. The earnings should provide some comfort to investors in Big Blue, according to BernsteinResearch's A.M. Sacconaghi, who released a brief report on the IBM earnings announcement.

"Over the last several weeks, investors have been skittish about IBM's global financing business, its large exposure to financial institutions and its balance sheet/access to commercial paper," ASacconaghi said in his report. "IBM stated that it had lowered its commercial paper exposure to $4.5 billion (down from $5.8 billion), and that it had had no problem to date accessing the CP market for below LIBOR rates.

Sacconaghi also noted that IBM said it had no exposure to consumer or mortgage lending, had increased its reserve coverage to 1.8 percent, and that its leases would get upheld during mergers and bankruptcies.

"If needed, we note that IBM has a large and highly profitable equipment resale business, which could repossess assets," Sacconaghi said.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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