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Takeaway: A weekly review of the biggest topics on our minds heading into the new week.

“At IBM alone, we have thousands of open positions at any given moment, and we intend to hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States, 6,000 of those in 2017,” IBM CEO penned this line in an editorial published in the USA Today (12/13/16).

Does anyone really believe that? Let’s look at the numbers.

IBM: Headcount Grower (or Headcount Lower?) - ibm post1

Net of major divestitures the company’s headcount is down in the last few years.

IBM: Headcount Grower (or Headcount Lower?) - ibm post2

Including a real reduction in US headcount, as implied by the 401K chart above.

IBM: Headcount Grower (or Headcount Lower?) - ibm post3

IBM has taken annual workforce rebalancing charge in each of the last six years.

IBM: Headcount Grower (or Headcount Lower?) - ibm post4

The direction of revenue is likely the single best directional indicator of total headcount (rather than empty promises). 

IBM: Headcount Grower (or Headcount Lower?) - ibm post5

Who believes this stuff?

EDITOR'S NOTE

This is an institutional research note written by Hedgeye Technology analyst Ami Joseph. For access to our institutional research ping sales@hedgeye.com.