IBM shares fall for a second straight session on Friday, company will not participate in RSA conference due to coronavirus-related concerns

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) said last week that it would not participate in the RSA cyber security conference, because of concerns related to coronavirus outbreak.

The event is to take place between February 24th and February 28th in San Francisco.

IBM shares closed lower for a second consecutive trading session in New York on Friday. It has also been the steepest single-session loss since October 17th 2019. The stock went down 2.34% ($3.61) to $150.70, after touching an intraday low at $149.78, or a price level not seen since February 4th ($146.88).

Shares of International Business Machines have risen 12.43% so far in 2020 compared with a 4.62% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, IBM’s stock went up 17.92%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

“The health of IBMers is our primary concern as we continue to monitor upcoming events and travel relative to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the tech giant said in a tweet, cited by Reuters.

According to RSA, the conference will proceed as scheduled despite IBM’s decision to cancel its participation as a Platinum Sponsor.

RSA also said that the number of individuals who have canceled their registration is just 0.79% of the total number of people to attend.

Additionally, the total number of exhibitors, who will not participate as a sponsor or exhibitor is 8 – 6 from China, 1 from the United States and 1 from Canada.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 17 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding IBM’s stock price, have a median target of $154.00, with a high estimate of $173.00 and a low estimate of $121.00. The median estimate represents a 2.19% upside compared to the closing price of $150.70 on February 14th.

The same media also reported that at least 13 out of 20 surveyed investment analysts had rated IBM’s stock as “Hold”, while 4 – as “Buy”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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