After five years of trying to refocus IBM on hot tech areas like cloud computing, cybersecurity, and big data analytics, CEO Ginni Rometty had something to show for her efforts last year. In the fourth quarter, revenue grew 4% from a year earlier—the first growth after 22 consecutive quarters of decline. Now Rometty is adding the digital currency technology known as blockchain to IBM’s arsenal, with an offering to help customers build their own digital ledgers. Though Big Blue’s analytics and security businesses have grown formidably, revenue for the full year was down 1% and Wall Street may need some more convincing. IBM’s stock returned a loss of 4% in 2017 even with dividends.
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