Earnings and revenues soared for IBM (NYSE: IBM) in the second quarter as Big Blue reported results that beat Wall Street expectations.

For the three months ending June 30, IBM reported earnings of $2.7 billion or $1.98 a share, 16 cents more than analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted. That figure is a 28 percent jump over the same quarter in 2007.

Revenues hit $26.8 billion, $900 million more than analysts expected, and 13 percent higher than a year ago.

"IBM had an outstanding quarter and a strong first half for 2008. These results demonstrate that IBM has the ability to thrive in both emerging and established markets. Once again, IBMers performed very well around the world," said Samuel Palmisano, IBM’s chairman and chief executive officer in a statement."

The technology company says it should earn $8.75 per share this year, as its international diversity and product mix help it get past troubles in its biggest customer segment, financial services, and broader weakness in the U.S. economy.

In January, analysts were expecting IBM to earn $7.94 per share this year. On the quarterly earnings call that month, IBM raised the target to between $8.20 and $8.30 per share.

Then when IBM last released quarterly results in April, the company said it expected to earn at least $8.50 per share for the year.

In announcing an 22 percent jump in profits Thursday, IBM’s chief financial officer, Mark Loughridge expressed even more confidence, raising the target to $8.75. That positive attitude was shared by Palmisano.

"We are continuing to see the benefits of IBM’s transformation in recent years,” Palmisano added in his statement. “Today IBM is a company with a distinctive business model that gives us a competitive edge in a global economy. We enjoy a steady base of recurring revenue and profits; a truly global reach and scale; services and products that deliver genuine value to clients wherever they do business; and a strong and flexible financial foundation that generates powerful cash flow and fuels our investment in growth opportunities.

"We feel good about our full-year outlook and our 2010 roadmap for $10 to $11 of earnings per share."

IBM, which employs some 11,000 in the Triangle area, reported the results after the markets closed Thursday. Shares ended at $126.52, up 58 cents. Big Blue recently reached a 52-week high of $128.83.

IBM reported a 15 percent increase in global technology services, 17 percent in software, 10 percent in systems, 32 percent in mainframes, and 18 percent increase in business services.

Revenues were up around the globe, with U.S. sales increasing 5 percent, Europe-Middle East-Africa 20 percent and Asia-Pacific 16 percent.