IBM CEO won't cut 5% dividend, not looking to split company

IBM CEO: We’ll do acquisitions, but at the right time

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna says it has a secure dividend and financial flexibility, which leaves room for additional acquisitions in the future when they make strategic sense.

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) CEO Arvind Krishna said on Tuesday that he is not looking to split up the technology company and won't cut its 5% dividend.

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The company withdrew its 2020 annual forecast due to coronavirus concerns on April 20. IBM executives told Reuters that the tech giant's customers were well-positioned for the pandemic, and IBM would continue to pay dividends.

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"I believe that we actually have enough financial stability, including a secure dividend," Krishna said on "Mornings with Maria." "The dividend is occupying a little bit more than half our free cash flow. It's not like it's occupying all of it, and that leaves enough flexibility for us to do it."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
IBMINTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP.123.87+2.19+1.80%

Krishna, who took over as CEO last month, added that IBM is "always open for acquisitions when they make strategic sense and when the price is right."

Arvind Krishna speaks on stage during the 2016 Wired Business Conference on June 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired)

"In terms of divestitures, we've always pruned our portfolio appropriately. When there are pieces that don't align with a strategy or they become too commoditized for us to deal with them, we have done divestitures. And you've seen us doing that over the past two years," he said.

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He also said the company was not considering breaking up the company.

"Our model is so integrated, it really makes sense for our clients," Krisha added. "And I think that need is going to accelerate in this crisis. Our clients are looking for us to bring solutions to them —to really solve the puzzle for them, and if you look at our services, they're really often linked to our products."

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IBM is hosting its "Think 2020" conference, which is expected to have nearly 90,000 virtual participants, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) technology and fifth-generation wireless technology.

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