IBM shares gain for a third straight session on Wednesday, tech giant to test blockchain technology in tie-up with Australia’s top banks and Scentre Group

July 5, 2019 9:53 am

Tech giant IBM and shopping mall owner Scentre Group are to tie-up with Australia’s top three banks to test blockchain technology, aimed at digitizing bank guarantees, Reuters reported earlier this week.

According to a statement by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Westpac Banking Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the partnership will seek to explore ways to move away from paper-based bank guarantees in order to reduce processing time and minimize the risk of fraud.

IBM shares closed higher for a third consecutive trading session in New York on Wednesday. It has also been the sharpest daily surge since July 1st. The stock went up 0.94% ($1.32) to $141.54, after touching an intraday high at $141.82, or a price level not seen since April 17th ($141.98).

Shares of International Business Machines have risen 24.52% so far in 2019 compared with a 19.51% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2018, IBM’s stock went down 25.91%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 6.24% loss.

The companies are testing a new blockchain-based platform on a group of retail property leasing clients as part of an 8-week pilot program.

”While the pilot is focused on retail property leasing, this technology has the potential to benefit many sectors and reduce the risk of fraud across billions of dollars guaranteed by the banks,” Didier Van Not, general manager corporate and institutional banking at Westpac Banking Corp, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

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 $150.00, with a high estimate of $173.00 and a low estimate of $115.00. The median estimate represents a 5.98% upside compared to the closing price of $141.54 on July 3rd.

The same media also reported that at least 11 out of 20 surveyed investment analysts had rated IBM’s stock as “Hold”, while 6 – as “Buy”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.

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