IBM sales have declined for 15 straight quarters. The company announced on Tuesday that its fourth-quarter sales fell 8.5% from a year ago.
It wasn’t the rosy 2015 Big Blue had hoped for. The company initially expected profit to reach $20 a share, instead the company ended 2015 at $14.92. IBM abandoned its $20 hopes in Q3 2014.
Wall Street analysts had expected $15 per share, led by a strong dollar that would weight heavily on earnings.
The company’s profits were hurt by an increasing number of customers turning towards cloud computing in place of expensive IBM mainframes and servers.
IBM for its part has spent the last several years building up its cloud-based strategy, becoming a major player in the space with $10.2 billion in cloud sales last year. The company is also focused on big data analytics, mobility, and security.
Shares of IBM are already down 7% this year, after falling 15% last year and 13% in 2014.
While the company has lost money for 15 straight quarters, one of its biggest investors is standing firmly behind the tech giant. Warren Buffett announced in November that he has lost $2 billion on his IBM investment but plans to stand firmly behind the company.
Experts believe it will take several more years for IBM’s sales to begin a period of growth.
“As we’ve said, this transformation will play out over time,” said Martin Schroeter, IBM’s chief financial officer, on a conference call with investors. “We are more and more encouraged that the strategy is right and that we’re executing to transform IBM.”