IBM Growth Strategy
IBM chases $40bn revenue from cloud and other growth areasReuters

International Business Machines (IBM) is targeting $40bn (£25.9bn, €35.7bn) in annual revenue from big data, the cloud, security and other growth areas by 2018.

The ambitious target, set by IBM executives at the firm's annual investor meeting in New York on 26 February, mark's the tech major's latest move towards emerging, high-margin businesses, and away from its previous strongholds in servers and hardware.

The $40bn will come from areas that IBM terms its 'strategic imperatives', namely cloud computing, big data analytics, mobile, social and security software.

That will represent about 44% of the $90bn in total revenue that analysts expect from IBM in 2018. Those businesses generated $25bn in revenue in 2014, or 27% of IBM's $93bn in sales.

The company also said it will move $4bn in spending to its 'strategic imperatives' this year, Reuters reported.

IBM reiterated its January forecast of $15.75 to $16.50 in operating earnings per share for 2015. Analysts expect $16.02, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

But the firm, which draws more than half its revenue from overseas, said the strong US dollar will hurt sales by over 6% this year. In January, it had expected a 5% to 6% currency-exchange dent to revenue.

Shares in IBM have edged up 0.27% so far this year in New York trade.

IBM's revenue has dropped for the past 11 quarters, while earnings growth has been irregular.