We're about to get more detail on exactly how bad the mobile and cloud disruptions are for some of the titans of tech.
At IBM, one of the best stories in tech investing has hit a bit of a snag. In the first quarter, revenue came up short by 5 percent, and profit missed, too—IBM turned in $3 per share, versus the $3.05 expected. For the second quarter of the calendar year, the Street wants $25.4 billion in revenue, $3.77 in EPS.
(Read more: As earnings take over, fundamentals to be tested)
The problem wasn't so much the revenue, since Wall Street has been willing to stomach top-line whiffs in the past. The problem was the profit. IBM has given investors a multiyear EPS road map that relies mostly on its software and services businesses, and its ability to buy back stock at the right times.
IBM put the blame on currency headwinds in Japan and some deals the sales reps couldn't close.
(Read more: Duking it out over earnings season)
As a guy who watches a lot of these companies in the tech space, I've got to admit some skepticism. The deal slippage excuse? Sounds a lot like what Oracle said in the third quarter, but results still managed to disappoint in the fourth quarter.
And those currency headwinds in Japan? Still there. I'm expecting another so-so revenue performance from IBM, with job cuts and buybacks picking up some slack for the bottom line.