IBM is due to report in latest quarterly financials today, and speculation is circulating that Big Blue may announce another work force “rebalancing.”

In other words, layoffs.

Meanwhile, Citigroup has cut IBM (NYSE: IBM) shares to “neutral” from “buy,” and the Street expects the tech giant to report an eighth straight quarterly decline in revenue.

Worker comments at the Alliance@IBM union website contain hints about more layoffs and another “resource action” – IBM-speak for job cuts. Big Blue set aside $1 billion for a rebalancing program from January to March.

That move preceded the announced sale of IBM’s x86 hardware business to Lenovo for more than $2 billion. Lenovo has promised to hire the 7,500 workers involved, including some 2,000 in RTP.

“Next week another RA. Either 4/15 or 4/16,” one IBMer wrote. “They will just stay under the NY WARN act for EF (250 minus the small # laid off in February as the number is cumulative for 90 rolling days.”

WARN act refers to required notification about big layoffs.

Added another worker:

“My first line manager told me and I consider it pretty reliable. I tried to ask questions, but he clammed up.”

A third said:

“My manager just told me another RA in GBS 2nd quarter. I don’t know any other details.”

Lee Conrad, a retired IBMer who heads unionization efforts for IBM workers, warned in an email that job cuts could be coming.

“We have been getting chatter that more job cuts will happen in IBM soon,” he wrote. “Other sources have said that it will be this coming week.”

The Street View

IBM shares closed down 75 cents at $197.02. That’s up 5 percent so far this year despite disappointing revenue numbers and the Citigroup downgrade.

Thomson Reuters polled analysts and forecasts a 2 percent drop in revenue to $22.9 billion.

Earnings are expected to decline 15 percent to $2.54.

Big Blue is cutting costs to meet a $20 earnings per share “roadmap” target in 2015. It has forecast $18 per share this year.

An analyst cited by Investor’s Business Daily is not expecting much positive news today but sees the financials improving over the rest of the year.

“While we believe the back half of the year should improve, we think management will remain cautious as we expect the March quarter to be flat-to-down relative to expectations,” wrote Amit Daryanani, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, in an earnings preview report. “In our view, investors will remain cautious on shares of IBM until comfort around a back-half rebound is met.”

Financial news website Seeking Alpha cited the Citigroup downgrade and noted:

“IBM only goes for 11x 2014E EPS after handily underperforming the tech sector since last summer. But worries about the company’s earnings quality (low tax rates have boosted EPS, and free cash flow has been deteriorating) and growth outlook remain high following a string of revenue misses.”

[IBM ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of IBM stories as reported in WRALTechWire.]