IBM (NYSE: IBM) continues to be on a roll with quarterly revenues and earnings were better than even Wall Street expected Monday.

Big Blue, which employs some 10,000 people across the Triangle and North Carolina, reported revenues of $26.7 billion and earnings of $3.09 per share after one-time expenses and exceptions.

Both figures were higher than Wall Street analysts had expected.

The news sent IBM shares up $3.54, or 2 percent, in after-hours trading to a new 52-week high of $178.82. IBM had closed down 26 cents at $175.28 before the earnings announcement, reaching a new 52-week high of $176.46 before slipping late in the day.

“In the second quarter our long-term strategic investments in the company’s growth initiatives again helped drive strong revenue performance,” said Samuel Palmisano, IBM’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Hardware, software and services revenue grew at double digits, and we achieved strong profit and free cash flow growth.

“As IBM begins its second century, we continue a process of transformation, positioning the company to lead in the future and deliver higher value to our clients and our shareholders. Given our strong start to 2011, we are raising our full-year operating earnings per share expectations to at least $13.25.”

The increase is 10 cents per share.

Consensus was that IBM will report a 7 percent increase in revenue from a year ago to $25.4 billion.

Revenues last quarter were $24.6 billion.

Earnings, meanwhile, were expected to be $3.03 a share, according to Thomson First Call. A year ago, earnings were $2.61.

Read the earnings report here.

Highlights as cited by IBM:

• Software revenue up 17 percent, 10 percent adjusting for currency;
• Systems and Technology revenue up 17 percent, 12 percent adjusting for currency:
• System z mainframe revenue up 61 percent; MIPS up 86 percent;
• Power Systems up 12 percent;
• Services revenue up 10 percent, 2 percent adjusting for currency;
• Services backlog of $144 billion, up $15 billion;
• Growth markets revenue up 23 percent, 13 percent adjusting for currency;
• Business analytics revenue up more than 20 percent in the first half;
• Smarter Planet revenue up more than 50 percent in the first half;
• Cloud revenue on track to double in 2011;

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