Frequently Asked Questions about IBM, our stock, finances and investing in the company.

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Book entry shares

Book entry form of registered ownership allows you to own shares without having physical stock certificates in your possession.

Some benefits of book entry ownership are the elimination of problems associated with paper certificates such as storage and safety of securities. Book entry shares also eliminate the requirement for physical movement of stock certificates at the time of sale or transfer of ownership.

A periodic statement of account is provided to the holder of book entry shares, reflecting the number of shares registered in your name and held by Computershare.

If you currently hold IBM stock certificates and wish to deposit the shares into book entry with the transfer agent, call Computershare at 888-IBM-6700, or 781-575-2727 for instructions.


Registered ownership occurs when the beneficial owner of the security is "registered" (or recorded) on the books (or records) of the corporation. The registered stockholder is considered the "stockholder of record." Registered ownership is also known as "Direct" ownership. The registered owner is known to the corporation as one of its stockholders.

Registered owners receive all corporate communications, dividends, annual reports and proxy material directly from the company and ownership comes in two forms: physical certificates or book entry shares.

When investors purchase stock through a broker, to become a registered owner, the investor must specifically direct the broker to register the shares with the corporation.

Traditional stock certificates

Your stock certificate is evidence of your ownership in IBM. It is a valuable document and should be carefully protected, since it can be exchanged for cash. We suggest you keep it in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box since replacing it is both costly and inconvenient to you.

Do not sign your certificate until you sell or transfer your shares. When mailing your certificate in for a change of registration, send it by registered or certified mail and you may wish to insure it for 3% of the market value, which is the cost to replace the certificate if it was lost.

Whenever you receive a stock certificate, it is important to review it carefully for accuracy. The information found on the front of the certificate will be the stockholder's name, account number, it consists of up to ten digits, a unique certificate number, found in the upper left hand corner of the certificate, and the number of shares shown in several locations. Date of issuance and Transfer Agent are also printed on the front of the certificate.

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