IBM needs to get out of commodity. There's no money in it, and IBM doesn't do things well, on the cheap. x86 is a good place to start getting rid of commodity. Let HP and Dell fight it out in the x86 market with the Chinese whitebox guys - the winners won't be names you recognise unless you hail from Asia - there's no way to compete against the people who contract manufacture your kit for you in the first place. Power should go legacy, like system Z and high end disk, kept on but at a slower pace of development, and with higher margins, used by customers who really need them.
If the x86 servers are sold off, a minority investment in Lenovo (5%? 10%?) and a medium to long term agreement over the availability of those servers for IBM to use and sell would be unsurprising. It's not without precedent: the same things happened 10 years ago with the Thinkpads and desktop line.
On the EPS front, 2013's EPS gains were depressed by "workforce rebalancing" (redundancies).
A non-GAAP version of the number with the cost of the redundancies deleted was also in the release - a cent under $17. If $18 is the 2014 target, hitting that without another "rebalancing" cost won't be impossible by any means.
(From the release: http://www.ibm.com/investor/attachments/events/4Q13%20Earnings%20Press%20Release.pdf )
o Diluted EPS:
- GAAP: $14.94, up 4 percent;
- Operating (non-GAAP): $16.28, up 7 percent;
- Operating (non-GAAP) excluding second-quarter workforce rebalancing charges, $16.99;