- companies that are way behind in the market and
- independent oils
Digging into the 5 Dow Laggards Posted at 1:19 p.m. EDT on Friday, Nov. 29 And then there were five. Just five companies in the Dow that are well behind the market, unable to struggle above double digits for the year. It's a tough benchmark. Many of the stocks in the averages are up huge. It has been a standout year. But IBM (IBM - Get Report), Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report), AT&T (T), ExxonMoibil (XOM) and Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) are all up less than double digits, with IBM down 6%; Caterpillar down 5%; AT&T up 5% and Exxon and Cisco up 8%. So, I think it is time to drill down at these underperformers and see what needs to be done. First, IBM is being challenged by the cloud. It's book of business isn't in tune with the simple, inexpensive nature of the cloud and the whole Watson thing, the race for most powerful, analytic computer, means nothing in this day and age where there are many companies that provide excellent data analytics. IBM offers the fabled one-stop shop and information technology outfits are increasingly going a la carte, which I saw at DreamForce, the Salesforce.com (CRM) celebration of everything that is not IBM. Increasingly, IBM is perceived as being irrelevant and not offering a bargain to companies. Heavy hardware is unnecessary. IBM spends much of its free cash flow buying back stock to make the earnings with subpar or no revenue growth. It is a giant cyclical company without any growth.