2. International Business Machines ( IBM), a global information technology company with products and services in software, hardware and financing. The company is due to release its fourth-quarter fiscal 2011 results on Jan 19.

As per the consensus estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg, IBM is likely to report net income of $5.5 billion on sales of $29.74 billion, compared to net income of $5.26 billion on sales of $29.02 billion recorded earlier. Earnings per share are seen rising to $4.62 from $4.18 earlier. EBITDA and operating profit are seen rising by 7% and 8%, respectively during the quarter.

Currently, the company is trading at a dividend yield of 1.6%. Dividend per share is seen rising to 74 cents from 65 cents earlier. Cash flow per share is seen coming in at $5.20 for the quarter.

Of the 31 analysts covering the stock, 48% recommend a buy, while 48% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 8.1% to $195.11 in the upcoming 12 months.

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