Mainframe sales, strong overseas market buoy IBM earnings

IBM reported strong second-quarter earnings Thursday, beating analyst expectations and buoyed in part by sales of its new mainframe computer and continued strong performance in overseas markets.

Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were US$1.98 on revenue of $26.8 billion, a 13 percent increase over the same period last year, or 6 percent when adjusted for currency valuations.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had on average predicted $1.82 per share and $25.9 billion in revenue.

Like that of its rivals Oracle and SAP, IBM's stock price is being increasingly viewed as a general bellwether of the economy as the world goes through an economic slowdown.

(More to follow.)

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