Thirty-six percent of the top 50 U.S. technology companies called out the computer-services provider as a threat in their annual filings with the SEC. Cisco and LinkedIn were among the 18 companies that listed IBM in the risk factors or competitors section of their 10-K reports.
IBM ditched PCs in favor of specialized business services, and that has given the company a direct line into the wallets of IT departments everywhere. That steady revenue stream allows IBM to invest in quirky research projects, such as Watson of "Jeopardy!" fame, that could pay off down the road.
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Methodology: Bloomberg ranked the technology companies most mentioned by their rivals in the latest Form 10-K of the top 50 U.S. technology companies by market cap. The values shown are the number of companies that cited a specific competitor in the risk factors and competition sections of their 10-Ks. A competitor was only counted once per company, even if named more than once. Competitors were classified by their ultimate owner; for example, IBM Global Financing would count as a mention of IBM. Mentions of joint ventures and companies owned by consortium were not classified under the name of the multiple owners. If a company did not cite a competitor, that company was not included in the universe and the next largest company by market cap was considered.