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IBM Exceeds Q1 Expectations & Signals Strong Demand For IT Services – $IBM $DIA $INVO

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

Reportedly, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) exceeded the expectations of Wall Street for its first-quarter profit and indicated that the demand for IT services was better than anticipated. In the first quarter, the company’s software and consulting businesses increased by 6% and 8.2%, respectively, at constant currency, which is consistent with IBM’s objectives. IBM’s full-year free cash flow projection of $10.5 billion was also reiterated.

According to IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, clients are giving priority to digital transformation initiatives that concentrate on “cost takeout, productivity and quick returns,” echoing comments made by Accenture executives in the previous month. Consequently, IBM has lowered its full-year consulting revenue growth projection from high single-digit percentage growth to 6%-8%.

The company projected annual revenue growth of 3% to 5% at constant currency, while analysts anticipate a 3.6% increase. Total revenue in the first quarter increased by 4.4% at constant currency to $14.25 billion, which is marginally lower than analysts’ forecast of $14.35 billion. Excluding items, IBM reported earnings of $1.36 per share, surpassing estimates of $1.26.

Dow 30 component International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Please visit the Vista Partners IBM Coverage Page to learn more about International Business Machines Corp (IBM) and track its ongoing progress. 

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The multi-billion-dollar global fertility market is predicted to reach approximately US$47.9 billion by 2030, yet remains severely underserved with many patients (upwards of 90% by many estimates) unable to access affordable treatment. INVO Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: INVO, $.3501) offers the INVOcell solution which provides an advanced, effective and affordable infertility treatment to help increase access to care. INVO is commercially advancing INVOcell through the opening of INVO Centers, opportunistically now pursuing acquisitions of established fertility (IVF) clinics in the U.S., and continuing to offer the technology to existing fertility practices.

On April 18, Maxim Group’s Analyst Jason McCarthy, Ph.D. issued a BUY rating on INVO Bioscience (INVO). His report is titled, “4Q Results and Outlook: Fertility Space Remains Active as INVO Expands Strategy with IVF Clinic Acquisition.” His 12-month Price Target is $3. 

On April 17, INVO Bioscience announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and provided a business update. Steve Shum, CEO of INVO stated, “2022 was another important year overall for INVO. Our initial three INVO centers made steady progress throughout their first full year of operation, reaching a combined total revenue of over $1.6 million, setting the stage for our plans to build additional INVO Centers with Tampa targeted to open soon. We further evolved our commercial efforts to build the Company by adding an acquisition strategy that is expected to allow us to synergistically introduce INVOcell into existing IVF clinics and to add profitable revenue sources to our operations. Additionally, we have made significant progress with our 5-day label enhancement efforts with the FDA. The signing of binding agreements to acquire Wisconsin Fertility Institute, an existing, established, profitable conventional IVF center is significant for a number of reasons, but most notably its ability to accelerate our business plan and substantially improve our financial profile. The acquisition approach is highly complementary to our ongoing efforts to build new INVO Centers and increase the distribution of INVOcell across existing IVF clinics. This multi-channel strategy greatly enhances our business and provides a solid foundation and strategy for our future growth.”

On April 5, INVO announced that it congratulates recently acquires Wisconsin Fertility Institute on being named one of America’s Best Fertility Clinics by Newsweek. During the survey period from November to December 2022, Newsweek and Statista invited over 3,000 reproductive endocrinologists, infertility specialists, obstetricians/gynecologists working in and referring patients to fertility clinics, other medical professionals (e.g., registered nurses, laboratory assistants) and fertility clinic administrators/managers working in fertility clinics to participate in the survey. Participants were asked to assess the quality in five categories for each recommended facility and to assign a ranking position to a set of fertility clinics. Only facilities defined as fertility clinics and ART (“Advanced Reproductive Technology”) providers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were considered. Click here for a full listing and methodology for inclusion.

On March 27, INVO Bioscience announced the closing of its previously announced registered direct offering of 3,680,000 shares of common stock (or pre-funded warrants in lieu thereof), priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules. In a concurrent private placement, the Company also issued warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 5,520,000 shares of common stock. The combined effective offering price for each share of common stock (or pre-funded warrant in lieu thereof) and warrant is $.815. The warrants are immediately exercisable, expire on the eight-year anniversary of the issuance date and have an exercise price of $0.63 per share. Maxim Group LLC is acting as the sole placement agent for the offering.

On Monday, March 20, INVO announced that they have signed binding agreements to acquire Wisconsin Fertility Institute, a materially transformative acquisition. The Madison-based fertility center primarily offers conventional IVF procedures and generated approximately $5.5 million in revenue and net income of approximately $1.9 million for the trailing 12-month period ended September 30, 2022. Wisconsin Fertility Institute is one of the state’s preeminent fertility centers, having helped to welcome over 5,000 babies since opening its doors in 2007 and with approximately 550 conventional IVF procedures completed in 2022. Wisconsin Fertility Institute is led by internationally renowned and well-respected fertility expert, Dr. Elizabeth Pritts, who will continue to serve as the clinic’s lead physician for a minimum period of three years from the closing of the acquisition. Dual-certified in General Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Dr. Pritts completed a surgical fellowship in Advanced Gynecologic Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy. She is also a national leader in the use of robotic surgery for gynecologic disorders. Dr. Pritts served as an assistant professor in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, as a clinical fellow at the University of California at San Francisco, and as an instructor at Yale University School of Medicine. She has authored more than 70 articles for scientific publications and has lectured throughout the world on reproduction and fertility. Read out latest Progress Report here. 

On Jan. 16, BioSpectrum published an article titled “INVO Bioscience introduces next-gen technologies to fertility market in Taiwan.”

On Jan. 5, INVO Bioscience announced it has entered an exclusive distribution agreement with Ming Mei Technology Co. Ltd (“Ming Mei”) for Taiwan. The agreement will have an initial 1-year term with renewals. Ming Mei is a leading distributor of fertility-based devices and components in Taiwan helping to bring the latest and most advanced medical equipment into the region. Ming Mei estimates it has approximately 90% coverage of reagents and consumables in the reproductive medicine market in Taiwan. With strong customer relationships in the region, and their familiarity with the field of reproductive medicine, Ming Mei is ideally suited to expand distribution of INVOcell in Taiwan. Taiwan is a destination for assisted reproductive technology (ART) throughout Asia and also has the lowest birthrate in the world. Taiwan’s birth rate has dropped as a result of similar trends elsewhere in Asia, such as later marriage and increasing cost of living. Further, the average age of patients requiring therapy is rising. Fortunately, according to the statistics published by “ICMART”, the overall implantation rate of therapy in Taiwan ranked second worldwide, almost equal to the level in the U.S., and a leading country in Asia. The stable high success rate derives from updated medical research and enriched clinical experience from the physicians, advanced laboratory facilities and technology as well as patient-centered customized treatment plans (depending on their age, ovarian functions and causes of infertility, etc.). Prior to the pandemic, in 2019 there were approximately 55,000 ART cases in Taiwan, an increase of approximately 55% compared to 2016. In July 2021, the government in Taiwan implemented a subsidy plan for ART with the goal of encouraging more local married couples to undergo ART treatments. The subsidies are also available to transnational couples in which one spouse holds a Taiwanese ID card.

On Jan. 3, INVO announced it has signed an agreement with Shelly W. Holmström, M.D. FACOG, to serve as the physician operator for the Company’s soon to be opened Tampa, Florida INVO Center.

***INSIDER BUYING ALERT***– On Friday June 3, after the close, a number of Form 4’s were filed at www.sec.gov confirming that the CEO, COO, CFO and 5 members of the board of directors purchased shares at $.95/share on June 1, 2022. Here’s the link to view all of the share purchases. 
(Read Original Story: IBM beats first-quarter profit estimates, signals demand holding up in Reuters)


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